Thursday, March 06, 2014


The more aware we become of the range of human need that surrounds us, the more overwhelmed we can become to the point that we end up doing nothing. The secret of the compassionate life is to focus our care on a few things that we can do something about, including in our intercessions those concerns that are beyond our reach. I know of one person who chose to focus all of his energy on dealing with the problem of Vietnamese refugees. He stayed with this until he felt he had made some genuine contribution, resisting the sometimes angry entreaties of friends to take on things which, to them, were more urgent. The ability to bring into focus the energy we expend is of critical importance to the Christian journey. It allows us to give to others without losing touch with ourselves. It reminds us that we are finite, with the freedom to say no as well as yes in the recognition that our particular gifts can be used in some ways better than others.

—From Mutual Ministry by James C. Fenhagen

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