Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | March 1, 2012

It’s What You See

This is Caring for Katy weekend at Kingsland, the Sunday when we close the doors to the church in order to go into the community to be the church or, as we often say at Kingsland, to be Jesus with skin on. Jon Davis, our Missions Ministry Associate, has helped our small groups to plan and coordinate more than sixty service initiatives throughout our community this Sunday.

As in previous years, we believe that Sunday is going to be a great day as we serve the people in our community, meet a variety of practical needs, and make meaningful connections with others.

When we launched Caring for Katy five years ago, I spoke to our small group leaders about Mark’s account of a miracle that Jesus performed in two stages (Mark 8:22-26). This simple story yields a profound truth.

Some people brought a blind man to Jesus at a place called Bethsaida. Jesus took the man aside, laid hands on him, and then asked him if he could see anything. The man replied that he could see men, but they looked like trees walking about — an indication that his sight was blurry. Jesus laid His hands on the man’s eyes a second time and, as a result, the man could see everything clearly.

Jesus could have healed the blind man with one touch but instead chose to heal him in two stages — a reminder that insight often comes slowly.

Most of us move through life so fast that the people around us look like trees walking about. We speed past need and fail to recognize hurt.

That’s why I shared this story at our first Caring for Katy planning meeting five years ago and challenged our folks to ask Jesus to touch their eyes a second time in order to see our community with greater clarity. And indeed they did. It’s always exciting for us to learn about the various initiatives that our small groups propose that are the direct result of seeing and identifying needs in our community.

Dino Rizzo, founding and lead pastor of Healing Place Church in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, wrote a book entitled, “Servolution: Starting a Church Revolution through Serving.” This book tells the inspiring story of how he and his wife started a church to reach the poor and hurting and how God has used Healing Place Church to transform its community through practical acts of love and service.

Rizzo used a term in the book that I really like — what he calls “peripheral compassion.” He defined peripheral compassion as “the capacity to reach out and envelop the multitudes while noticing the tiniest need.” Peripheral compassion “is one of my favorite qualities I see in Jesus,” writes Rizzo, “and one I have always wanted to emulate.”

The things our small groups will do this Sunday are the product of peripheral compassion or looking at our community with deeper insight and greater clarity. Henry David Thoreau wrote, “It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.” Thoreau was absolutely right. It all begins with what we see.

In the parable of the Good Samaritan, the priest and the Levite both “saw” the poor fellow that had been beaten and left for dead. However, when the good Samaritan “saw him, he felt compassion” (Lk. 10:33) and that made all the difference.

I am grateful for the people of Kingsland and for their concern for our community. And, I am grateful to Jon for helping our small groups to respond to the needs we have identified in a personal, practical, and measurable way. I am looking forward to a great day on Sunday!

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