Saturday, March 22, 2014

Day 16: Love and Compassion

"Shepherd your people with your staff, the flock that belongs to you, which lives alone in a forest   in the midst of a garden land; let them feed in Bashan and Gilead as in the days of old.  As in the days when you came out of the land of Egypt, show us marvellous things. Who is a God like you, pardoning iniquity and passing over the transgression of the remnant of your possession? He does not retain his anger for ever, because he delights in showing clemency. He will again have compassion upon us; he will tread our iniquities under foot. You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea. You will show faithfulness to Jacob and unswerving loyalty to Abraham, as you have sworn to our ancestors from the days of old." -Michah 7:14-15, 18-20

As I say in most of my blogs, I am not much of a writer. I really don’t know how to express myself, unless it’s through dance and singing, yet alone do a reflection for Lent. What I have learned throughout my years was to just write what you feel. In today’s reading, it talks about compassion and how to help others. In my opinion, the book of Micah first talks about how to help others when in need, and to also to see compassion. In verse 14, Micah talks about how one needs to “Shepherd your people with your staff, the flock that belongs to you.”

        From the first time I started working with kids, I felt that it was a calling from God. When I first started working at a non-profit, I struggled with coming to terms that kids were going to be part of my future. After about three years and counting, I was able to see that helping kids and teaching them was a bigger aspect of my life than I had planned. I know, many people hear the same clichés like, “you don’t want to be a teacher”, or “the education system is something you don’t want to deal with”, but, for me it is not being a teacher. It’s about showing the future that we can leave a legacy of change and hope for them.  In Micah, we are here to help the community and show that we are all one. Every time I go to work, I felt like I was shepherding the people or the students.

        This year I left my community to also see what Micah said in verse 15: “As in the days when you came out of the land of Egypt, show us marvelous things.” I went to Panama, for what was going to be a discernment process of over a year.  As I like to note, I have never left the Rio Grande Valley, yet alone the country. It was hard at first, but since, I found learned marvelous things. In times where we are blinded from the words of the Lord, we must have courage to know how to listen to the Lord. Through the readings, I believe they show a point of why I love working with kids. My love for seeing their smile or being the person they can talk to when they need it is just marvelous. God works in ways you can see and in ways you can’t. I love to say that I can see both ways, but in reality, you can never get what you want.

  The second part of Micah shows how god is compassionate. In my most recent years, my faith has grown drastically. It has been a learning concept, but within time I will continue to grow to my full potential. God shows us compassion, yet I have struggled to do the same.

Compassion from God is shown throughout the bible. In Psalm 103 it states: “The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.” Most people that know me know I don’t have compassion or mercy. But with the guidance of the lord, I have grown to have it.

This part is difficult to me because this is about the first time I will say this. My brother, you know what you have done to me and throughout the years, I have never shown you mercy or compassion because in my eyes I believed you did not deserve it. However, this process that I have taken to walk in the eyes of God, has shown me that I forgive you and always had. I forgive you with all my heart and all my soul. I forgive you and know that you are not alone, you have me and the family. I love you. Don’t forget that.

Throughout the seven months I have been in Panama, I have seen many things. Most of all I have seen the people show compassion wherever you go. God is truly in the midst of us, open your eyes and let the world around you show that the lord will bring us to a better tomorrow. I would like to end with a prayer I got when I attended the Global Leadership Summit a few years ago. I say this prayer every day and know that helping others and showing compassion is something that is spoken in this prayer.

My morning prayer
God, this is a new day. I freshly commit myself to the role you have invited me to play, as you are building your church in this world I am awestruck again today that you include me in this grand life-giving, world-transforming endeavor. So today I joyfully offer you:

My love
My heart
My talents
My energy
My creativity
My faithfulness
My resources
And my gratitude

I commit all of myself to the role you have assigned me in the building of your church so that it may thrive in this world. And I will “bring it” today. I will bring my best. You deserve. Your church deserves it. It is the Hope of the World.

Joseph Morin is from Texas and serving in Panama with Iglesia Episcopal San Mateo. 

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