Monday, June 20, 2005

We need compassion for "the least of these"

David Gibbs III

Do you have a proper heart and spirit towards those that the Bible calls "the least of these"? Whether it's a senior citizen, a disabled person, a young child--do we as a nation have the compassionate heart of God? --David Gibbs III

"Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me."--Matthew 25:40

[UPDATE: You can now listen to my interview with David Gibbs III.]

After interviewing Schindler family attorney David Gibbs III (read the transcript of the interview here, with audio to come), I was able to hear Gibbs speak at my church yesterday morning.

I came away with a heart re-dedicated to having compassion on what the Bible calls "the least of these"--the preborn, children, the disabled, the aged, the poverty-stricken, the people who can't "contribute" to society. If we as Christians don't care about "the least of these," then who will?

Gibbs' account of Terri Schiavo's slow dehydration death was eloquent, but factual and straightforward, unembroidered with intentional sentimentalism or maudlin calls for pity. Still, it moved me deeply.

He spoke of being in the room with Mary Schindler the very last time she was able to see her daughter before she died. Before he left the room, Gibbs said he stood at the foot of her bed and said, "Terri, I'm sorry. We did everything we could." Knowing Terri probably couldn't grasp what he was saying, he still felt it had to be said.

Gibbs believes God has blessed our nation heretofore because we had a heart of compassion that God could bless. But everywhere we see evidence of that changing.

We as Christians must have a heart for the weak and the voiceless. We must, as Gibbs says, adopt the heart of God for "the least of these" in our communities.

On a lighter note...

Although normally I'm a fiction freak, I'm actually reading a nonfiction book and really enjoying it!

Currently on my nightstand is Faithful Women and Their Extraordinary God, by Noel Piper. (Noel is the wife of John Piper of Desiring God ministries.) I've just finished the first chapter, about Sarah Edwards, wife of Jonathan Edwards. What a remarkable woman!

I'm sure it's testimony in large part to Sarah's mothering and guidance that the couple's descendants accomplished such great things.

This from

"In 1900, A. E. Winship studied what happened to 1,400 descendants of Jonathan and Sarah by the year 1900. He found they included 13 college presidents, 65 professors, 100 lawyers and a dean of a law school, 30 judges, 66 physicians and a dean of a medical school, and 80 holders of public office, including three US Senators, mayors of three large cities, governors of three states, a Vice-President of the United States, and a controller of the United States Treasury. They had written over 135 books and edited eighteen journals and periodicals. Many had entered the ministry. Over 100 were missionaries and others were on mission boards." Wow.

I look forward to reading more of this book, and to interviewing Noel Piper for my radio show.

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