People who stop at the gate

By Dave Henning / September 1, 2019

“Let’s be people who stop at the gate.  Let’s look at the hurting until we hurt with them.  No hurrying past, turning away, or shifting of eyes.  No pretending or glossing over.  Let’s look at the face until we see the person.”- Max Lucado

“When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.”- Matthew 9:36 (NIV)

In Chapter 7 (“See the Need: Touch the Hurt”) of Outlive Your Life, Max Lucado asserts there’s something fundamentally good about taking time to truly see a person.  Furthermore, the New Testament Greek lexicon tells us the word compassion — as used in Matthew 9:36 — means to be moved as to one’s bowels.  Because, according to the New Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance, the ancients thought of the bowels as the seat to love and pity.

Therefore, compassion denotes a movement deep within – a kick in the gut.  Perhaps, Max notes, that’s why we turn away from hurt.  Especially when we’re unable to do anything about it.

Yet, Pastor Lucado exhorts, we need to look suffering in the face as if we can make a difference.  Like Peter and John helping the lame man at the Beautiful Gate.  For work done in God’s name long outlives our earthly lives.  Also, in certain Zulu areas of South Africa, people greet each other with this phrase: I see you.  Thus, change starts with a genuine look.  And, it proceeds with a helping hand.

In conclusion, Max offers this summary:

“It (the Beautiful Gate encounter) all began with an honest look and a helping hand.  Could this be God’s strategy for human hurt?  First, kind eyes meet desperate ones.  Next, strong hands help weak ones.  Then, the miracle of God.  We do our small part, he does the big part, and life at the Beautiful Gate begins to be just that.”

Today’s question: How do you respond like people who stop at the gate?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Some high-octane boldness”

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Dave Henning

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