Our Son – Birru Maran

Reach out and touch another human being with your heart and soul….how hard could it be?

Earl and I have sponsored a Compassion International child named Birru Maran from India for the past 6 years, he is 9 years old now and his birthday is July 4th, 2002.  I carry a picture of Birru in my Bible as a bookmark and pray for this dear, sweet boy.

Each year we exchange with him several letters and birthday and Christmas cards.  We send him pictures of us and little stickers that kids like and anything else we can find that lay flat in an envelope.

Recently we received the following letter, and I want to share it the way he expressed himself.

“Dear loving Parents,  Yours son Birru Maran is writing with thanks.  I am safe here, and I hope that you are also safe there.  I received letter from you.  I read the letter and felt so happy.  Sometimes I look into sky and says Hello.  We also celebrate Thanks giving festival here every year.  I am learning verses daily in the Project, and growing in the way of God.  Now we are in March month.  It is summer season.  Now I am preparing for my annual examinations.  I praying daily for you.  Yours loving son,  Birru Maran”

This young boy brought me to tears.  One small act of compassion has brought new life in Christ to this young one in India.  We have brought him love, and he in return, gives us his love. 

I have seen pictures of our son Birru when he was but a skinny malnourished child to now a child with a young boy face and a healthy and vaccinated body – from a son who drew pictures of his favorite animals to a young lad who writes that he loves us and is growing in the way of God.

Jesus Christ is the very picture of compassion.  He always reacted to the children with compassion and love.  And He defended them strongly by warning, “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe to stumble, it would be better for him if, with a heavy millstone hung around his neck, he had been cast into the sea.”  Matthew 18:6

All the little children of the world are God’s children, and each child should be loved and held and taught about Jesus.  We are but their caretakers while here on earth and that responsibility that God has given us is to be taken with all seriousness.  The gift of children is a gift to treasure. 

“Behold, children are a gift of the LORD, the fruit of the womb is a reward.” Psalm 127:3

Our children are all grown up, happy and healthy, and they all believe in Jesus Christ.  We have grandchildren that we pray will someday know our Savior too.  But being able to do so now, we touch another child with our hearts in a depressed area of India with his parents and siblings who also are hearing the Word through our son, Birru.

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Message of the Beatitudes – Five – Merciful

Matthew 5:7 “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.”

Life is a struggle.  We fear.  Life hurts.  Now we’ve been judged by others.  When life throws us into a pit, and we can’t find a way to climb out, who has shown us mercy and offered us a hand to get out?  Sometimes we only catch a glimpse of judgment on the faces of those who see us suffering – as if they’ve never worn anyone else’s shoes and have never been down-trodden.

But perhaps judgmental reactions are what they received while down in their own pit, and it’s the only reaction they understand.  Perhaps their behavior is due to their unbroken spirits in the Lord. They do not acknowledge that God has shown them mercy, and that they have more power to show mercy once they experience it themselves.  But to experience mercy, we all must acknowledge that we owe God a great debt and that we are unable to repay it and that God has offered to forgive us, undeservedly.  Mercy is a form of grace, which is undeserved favor.  Mercy is undeserved compassion and forgiveness.

So let’s back up for one moment.  What is mercy?  Mercy is an active empathy extended to relieve someone in misery, pain and/or distress, regardless of who it is.  This includes our enemies.    We should be on the lookout for those in distress and not pass by on the other side of the road.  We should have a heart of pity and our deepest desire should be to help no matter who the sufferer is.

Jesus lived a life of mercy.  He spent His time surrounded by those less fortunate; he suffered with the suffering, the addicted, the homeless and the prostitutes.  With whom do we surround ourselves?  What judgmental attitudes block our ability to extend mercy?  God’s desire is to be seen through us.  The Holy Spirit desires to penetrate that which hinders us from being God’s light to a suffering world.  

Have we become an indifferent people?  Are we now a people who lack concern for others?  If we have suffered, we should be the first to show compassion and mercy upon those that are suffering.  For we know that God pulled us up out of our pits when God showed mercy on us.  We should never condemn others.  Yet if someone stumbles, we are not to accept their sin as good, but we are to lend a helping hand and offer them God’s forgiveness.  Even Jesus said to the adulterous woman, who was condemned by the Pharisee’s, “Where are they?  Has no one condemned you?”  When she indicated that nobody had, Jesus then mercifully said, “Then neither do I condemn you.  Go now, and leave your life of sin.”

Suffering is not always for no reason.  Suffering allows us to become better Christians – having compassion for those who are suffering perhaps something we’ve suffered ourselves.  What have we suffered and how can we use that experience to help a fellow brother/sister through the trials or sins in which they find themselves?

For one of the greatest blessings of receiving mercy is to be merciful ourselves.

I Care…….

I don’t care; I couldn’t care less; I really don’t care; Ask me if I care; Do I look like I care?……….how very awful to say or worse yet, to hear this sentiment.

Truthfully, I am ashamed of myself, for I too have vocalized at least one of these very ugly statements.  I not only have said it to friends and family, but also to co-workers and worse yet, my very best friend – Earl, my husband.

Recently Earl and I were discussing something (my memory at this point is such that I tend to forget unpleasant discussions or events and I merrily go on my way as if everything is just fine), therefore, I can’t tell you what that something was.  But I can tell you that in the conversation I said, “I could care less.”  Earl looked at me kind of oddly and corrected me saying that the correct expression is, I couldn’t care less.  Of course this stopped me in my tracks because once I thought about it, I realized how right he was.

Researching, I found out that the original statement of, “I couldn’t care less” came from the British and in the 1950’s came to the USA.  We are the only ones that actually say, “I could care less.”  In other words, we do care, at least a little.  But it is a contradictory statement if our intention is to indicate that we don’t care at all.

It seems statements like these have just become part of our everyday vernacular.  We say them when someone tells us something of which we don’t agree.  Or when we want a derisive verbal come back to imply that what someone has to say to us, has no effect on us at all. How about at work, when someone gives their opinion and we tell them that we really don’t care?  What we are saying is that their opinion doesn’t matter, only ours does.

I have asked God to help me think a little more before I speak and before I react with a cruel word. I never once thought about what I was actually saying.  How awful is that?  For in prayer and mulling over this one little statement, I have found and I believe that Jesus never spoke such an uncaring statement to anyone, even including the Pharisees. 

I do care.  I care about a lot of things.  And I care about everyone.  I truly care about their thoughts and opinions.  I am grateful that God has revealed to me another sin of my old self that still needs to be cleansed and removed.  It’s peculiar how we sometimes don’t even recognize the sin that we are still living in even after professing Christ and serving Him for years.  

We are instructed to reprove our brother/sister in 2 Timothy 4:1-2 (in part) “I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus,…reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction….”  I welcome the reproof, knowing it’s for my own good.

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