After a quick 48 hours at home, I’m back on the road. This time to the exotic far-off land of Pigeon Forge, Tennessee where the staff of several radio stations are gathering to hear new music and take classes in how to do radio even better.
I’ll be speaking about Compassion International. My hope is that more radio stations will partner with Compassion, talk about their ministry on the air, and see thousands more kids sponsored.
But I never speak this soon after an overseas trip. For good reason.
When bloggers come back home they almost always deal with the strangest concoction of powerful emotions. Anger, guilt, depression, insignificance, loneliness, confusion, sadness…and lots of joy and gratitude thrown in to keep them guessing.
They snap at their kids for whining about what’s for dinner. They feel uncomfortable in their home packed with amenities. They ponder their purpose in life and sometimes get annoyed that those around them don’t seem to be.
This is normal.
And most intense when returning home from a first exposure to overseas living.
But it still happens to a much much smaller degree to me still. Even now. After making twelve return-home trips.
So I’m scared. What will happen when I’m telling a child’s poverty-to-enough story and someone pulls out their iPhone to text? What will happen if no children are sponsored, no stations sign up to support Compassion? What will happen? In me?
I want to represent Compassion well, of course. But more than that I want to represent Christ well. Who had compassion on the rich and powerful as much as he did the poor and vulnerable.
Compassion is a compound word rich with meaning. “Com” means “together” or “with.” “Passion” means “to suffer.”
The compassionate suffer with those who are suffering. We may suffer by sacrificing to give children daily bread. We may suffer when we come home and work out with friends and family and God what our new normal is supposed to be. We may suffer to hold back what we feel at times, so that we can live what we know: For so loved the world…wealthy and impoverished, influential and voiceless, third world and first world.
Will you pray for me? I’m walking out the door now and I need more power, more patience, more compassion than my jet-lagged self has right now. Apart from Christ I can’t do this. Will you pray that He does this through me?
And will you pray for the bloggers that just returned from Tanzania with me? There are no words to describe what they may be going through. You can see their faces and names here.