Hope for the future: Bringing the compassion of Christ to the streets of Beirut

A week on from the massive explosion that ripped through Beirut, Rhiannon from the Embrace Team reflects on the inspiration she takes on seeing the acts of compassion many young people are showing each other in Beirut.

One of my favourite stories about Jesus is in Matthew 14. It’s not the feeding of the five thousand (although that is incredible of course) but it is Matthew 14:14. Jesus had heard that his cousin John the Baptist had been killed. He withdrew by boat, wanting to get away to a solitary place so he could grieve by himself. A crowd followed him and ‘When he landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick.’

What then follows is the miracle that we all remember, that he fed a crowd of hungry people, all from the packed lunch of a boy.

What I love is that from this place of deep pain, when Jesus wanted to be alone, his compassion stirred and in obedience with his Father, trusting in His provision, the Kingdom of Heaven touched earth and lives are transformed.

Alongside the stories of loss in Beirut I also read stories of people coming together to clean up and rebuild. From a place of deep pain, their compassion for others is drawing them out to show love to their neighbour. Last year there was a big Taize conference in Beirut with youth representatives from many churches.

                                  Young people in Beirut are working hard to clean up their city in the aftermath of the blast. 

These same young people are now themselves bringing the compassion of Christ to Beirut by cleaning up each other’s churches, helping each other to heal, showing compassion in their pain. Many of the staff and the young people supported by Embrace’s local partners are amongst those out on the streets helping others.

As we pray this morning, let us remember these young people and others in Beirut who are stepping in and loving their neighbours instead of just hiding themselves away in their pain. Let us pray that God fills them with His compassion and love, and that in carrying out His will they themselves will be healed and provided for. Let us pray that amid the pain we see the Kingdom of Heaven touch earth.

You can donate to our Lebanon Crisis Appeal here

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