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IN TOUCH WITH GOD    by Edward Heppenstall

Witnesses Unto Me JUNE 11


And by chance there came down a certain priest that way; and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. Luke 10:31.

We cannot be Christians alone. None of us who profess to follow Christ can dodge the responsibility for the people who come our way. We are thousands of miles away from the people in Africa and India. But when men, women, and children starve to death, when children born of American soldiers in Vietnam are dying because there is no one to care, that too is our business.

Once we fall into the habit of not caring about people whose destitution and misery are a burden on the world, we deserve no peace. We achieve nothing but lovelessness when nothing that happens around us is our concern. Every situation that prevails in our world ties in somewhere with people. If there is tragedy in a family we are to be there with compassion. If there are young people who carry loads greater than they can bear we are to be there with our presence, our prayers, and our love and acceptance.

The priest and the Levite in the story probably felt themselves right with God. Certainly they were considered decent persons, respectable, moral, except for one thing—they did not intend to be found where human need was the greatest.

The idea of leaving everything to God can be pretty disastrous so far as Christian love for others is concerned. It is not true that if we pass by chances to bring people to Christ, God will step in and do the rest. Let us not assume that because God loves all people, that love will reach them independently of anything we care to feel or do. After a while we come to believe there is little or nothing we can do. The tendency is to relax behind the façade of the church.

Many who make no profession of being Christians live more compassionately than those who bear the name. No large talents are required. No great public assignments are necessary to challenge us; just compassion on the road of life.

Under the transforming power of Christ's love, people come to believe that the Christian faith is genuine. These broken fragments of humanity become of great value. Are we investing our lives in needy people for Christ's sake?

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