Compassion is the Emotion of the Gospel

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November 8, 2012 by Kara Nichols

My manic episodes aren’t all bad.

Last year I was inspired to create care packages for the homeless, hitchhikers, anyone in need. One day I pulled over and put on my hazard lights at the entrance of the mall when I saw a man who held a sign that said “Homeless, anything helps.”

I gave him one of my care package which included random things I found around the house since I didn’t have much money of my own at that point. Things like a roll of toilet paper, bottled water, a few cans of food, lots of snack bars. He said his name was Tripp and he was in town a few days until his train that he worked on left again. He thanked me for everything and I asked if I could pray for him once I left and he said yes.

So I leave, do a u-turn up in the parking lot of the mall and when I passed where he was standing 45 seconds before? He was gone. I believe he was an angel. Or he was able to get a ride awfully fast. It was a surreal experience.

Hebrews 13:2 says, “Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it.”

The second man I came across was hitchhiking to Florida. I gave him my last dollar and things to drink. I also met a woman and her child in the parking lot of Target begging for money & food. So I gave her the rest of my Target gift card – about $10.

I wonder if eventually I’ll be able to make a non-profit out of this care package deal I have going on. I’m really passionate about helping people who are down and out because I have BEEN THERE BEFORE and I’ve been ignored. I tried hitchhiking to the hospital in 2011 in the middle of the night and no one stopped to help me. I’m not sure I will ever be able to pass someone in need on the street without helping them somehow.

Acts 20:35 says, “In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ”

It is so true! I also believe that there are more angels on this earth than we realize. Dear Jesus – help me to find ways to satisfy this desire to help others. The fact that I’m alive today is a miracle and I do not take for granted all that you have done in my life.

I’ll be making more care packages, so if you want one to carry in your car give me about $5 and I will make one for you too. I know lots of people don’t give at all because they are hesitant to give cash. My mom always says, “I don’t want to encourage a drinking or drug habit,” or something of the like, so she carries gift cards to places like McDonalds which is GREAT but there are other ways to meet the practical needs of people who really need help.

I’m going to write a letter to include in the packages that will have phone numbers of local shelters and if I have enough money I’ll include a phone card. The letter will have some encouraging verses and a brief note as to why I give out these care packages – that it is by Christ alone that I am blessed enough to have a car and a place to sleep and that I am spurred on to pay it forward. To God be the glory – first & foremost.

Here a sample of what a bag will offer: A bottle of water, beef & cheddar sticks, roll of toilet paper, sunflower seeds, wet ones, kleenex, cheese & peanut butter crackers, chicken noodle soup (w/ pop top), apple sauce and a cereal bar. Oh, and a plastic spoon. I wish I had money to buy more! I will be able to get 4 bags for about $20.

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