Today’s Word from Deacon Amy…

Our theme at Vacation Bible School last week was all about Compassion. That’s a pretty big concept for kids! We talked about kindness and love and taking care of each other. Our chant for the week was: I see your hurt, I feel your hurt, I help to ease your hurt. Overall, this is a pretty good way to define compassion. It goes beyond just helping, as it requires an element of empathy; we must be able to identify with the need that is being experienced by the other, in order to adequately help them.

The Bible verse that we chose to go with this theme was 1 John 4:19, “We love because God first loved us.” What an absolutely beautiful verse – and so simple, really. God filled the world with goodness and love; it is our job to share that goodness and love with everyone that we come into contact with. Just love. That’s all.

I chose the compassion theme for VBS this year because I feel that we could all use a reminder about compassion, kindness, and love. Too many times we see examples or hear stories about people being rude, selfish, and downright mean. We hear about adults being kicked out of kids’ soccer games because they’re fighting with the referees. We hear increasing stories of road rage and dangerous driving. We see people cutting into the middle of the ferry line. Rudeness and poor behavior are all around us.

I think it’s time to change that. It’s time to be good examples for our kids, and for everyone around us. We need to remember the love that God poured into this world, and turn to share that love with our neighbors.

At Compassion Camp, we saw older kids helping younger kids with craft projects, we saw kids taking turns and cheering each other on in games, we saw kids raising their hands and joining in conversations at the Bible Story station. Kids were complimenting others on their artwork, they were saying “thank you” when snacks were served, and they were helping to put supplies away at the end of the day. They cheerfully brought in food donations to add to our collection.

All week long, these kids reminded me that compassion is all around us. They reminded me that they can serve, share, and love together. Perhaps it is we adults who need to be reminded.

Keep seeing, feeling, and helping. We need more compassion in this world.

Click here to see a photo montage of our week at Compassion Camp.

Deacon Amy