Meet JAY. One of the most interesting 9-yr-old boys I’ve been privileged to meet & impart every Sunday. About 3 weeks ago, after an interesting discussion I had with my class of MEGASTARS (code name for 8 & 9yr olds in my Christian Centre), I asked the class if anyone had any questions. JAY had just 1 question: Why do people think I’m UNCOMPASSIONATE?
Let’s rewind back to the activities of 23.6 minutes earlier that eventually inspired that question in JAY’s heart. (I really need you to stay with me here and concentrate and stop bothering yourself about how exactly I knew it was 23.6 minutes earlier… Focus, my friend, FOCUS). I had started the discussion by asking my audience for the meaning of words that I felt were recently added to the dictionary of English-speaking youth of the 21st century. Words like DUH, SERIOUSLY, & AS IN brought about responses that made me wish George and Charles Merriam & Noah Webster – the founding parents of MARRIAM-WEBSTER dictionary – were still alive to witness the witness I was witnessing.
And then I got a stunning response when I asked for the meaning of the word COMPASSIONATE. The class was silent momentarily as if their brains were interpreting the trumpet that had just been blown by Angel Michael. Although I knew they knew the meaning in their hearts (I mean DUH, everyone should know the meaning of COMPASSIONATE, like SERIOUSLY), It was as if they could easily relate to the new generation words I asked earlier than this hippopotamus sounding word. I eventually got the responses I wanted from them when they finally got to expressing the meaning of the word.
And so I proceeded by asking them if we could give examples of people that were COMPASSIONATE in our class. I pointed to about 2 children in the class and got mixed responses regarding their compassion metres. However when I asked JAY to stand up and asked the class if he was an embodiment of the word COMPASSION, I got a resounding NOOOOOOOO as an answer. I mean, the response was akin to the most lopsided presidential election in U.S. history when Democrat Franklin Delano Roosevelt was victorious against Republican Alfred M. Landon in the 1936 ELECTION. (Although we’re not talking about politics, I’m hoping you get the picture.) It was overwhelming hearing all the kids declare that JAY was not a COMPASSIONATE kid on the block.
In an outburst of anger mixed with laughter, JAY expressed his disapproval of the class’ unanimous vote by punching a few colleagues that were spotted near him for declaring that he was not a compassionate fellow. He tried raising his voice to swallow the voice of the croud by saying I’M COMPASSIONATE. We all eventually laughed it off after I was able to let them know that one of our ultimate goals as Christians should be for people to see & know us and unanimously agree that we have that trait that our Lord Jesus exhibited when He walked the untarred roads of Israel.
However, the response of the class would still linger in the mind of JAY until he was given the opportunity to ask the question he eventually asked. Eventually, I did not have to answer his question. A fellow 8 yr old child gave JAY the perfect answer to the question. His response touched the core of my being not just because of its brevity but also because it was coming out of the mouth of a child that you think doesn’t know anything.
BECAUSE YOU DON’T ACT LIKE IT!
That was the response that closed the service for that day. I asked them to ask God to help them be more like Jesus by molding them into compassionate beings that will eventually impact this world for good.
While enroute home that Sunday afternoon, I was asking myself a similar question: WHEN PEOPLE MEET & KNOW ME OVER A PERIOD OF TIME, WILL THEY ATTEST TO THE CLAIM THAT I’M A CHRISTIAN? After all, the disciples did not call themselves christians; it was the people of Antioch (in present day Turkey) that gave them that nickname CHRISTIANS because they were behaving like CHRIST.
I didn’t get the type of answer that pleased me when I asked myself that question. And so I prayed that God will help me not just to be a COMPASSIONATE person, but to be like CHRIST.
If we claim to be CHRISTIANS – devout follower of Christ & His ways – let us ACT LIKE IT.