Bible Reading: 2 Corinthians 5:12-21
“You’re blessed when you care. At the moment of being ‘care-full’, you find yourselves cared for.” [Matthew 5:7 The Message]
Floyd McClung tells the most wonderful story of a 72-year-old Sunday school teacher called Pop Jenkins. Floyd was in his second year of theological studies, and bumped into this elderly, five foot three inch, roly-poly grandfather in the library. He was shabbily dressed in a tattered old suit. This eccentric old man told Floyd he had been looking for him, and then told him that God had called him to be a doormat for Floyd! So strange! Eccentric!
Sometime later, Floyd and Pop Jenkins travelled together from Southern California to the Gulf of Mexico on what would be Floyd’s first “missionary journey” and throughout that trip, Pop Jenkins challenged Floyd with the same question over and over again: “Do you really care?” It got very annoying especially when the novelty wore off. Every 10 minutes or so the same questions: “Do you care about people? Do you care that people are going to hell? Do you really care?” He questioned Floyd’s goals, values, sports, motives for ministry – everything. “Do you want to serve God? Why do you want to serve God? Do you really care about people? He challenged Floyd’s relationships, securities and longing to serve God!
There were Christian crosses in the graveyard of San Felipe – religious people dying without Jesus in a land of Christ less crosses. “Do you care, Floyd?” They visited a church service where hundreds of poor people bowed before an icon of a dead priest. Pop Jenkins unashamedly wept and asked once again, “Floyd, do you really care what happens to these people?”
Floyd said, “Something began to happen inside of me. I cried as I watched him put his arms round a drunken man on a dusty road. As he wept and prayed. I saw a man caring. I realised that here was man motivated by the love of Christ.” Here was a man who lived his whole life for others. Compassion touched them, changed them. People couldn’t remain the same when Pop Jenkins came along.
A deep longing was created within Floyd. There was intensity about this man’s love for people that was annoying to anyone superficial in their Christian faith. He was single-minded. He was serious. He cared. He loved people. Floyd said about this man and that trip, “It spoiled me for the ordinary!”
This is compassion and mercy – here is love, and it is mercy that puts feet to our prayers. The apostle Paul said, “The love of Christ compels us” and “the love of God is poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit given unto us”.
[2 Corinthians 5:14 and Romans 5:5]
Just one question today: Do you really care?