Today a friend shared this story about a kind of compassion I don’t see much. An outspoken atheist man needed surgery, and a local Christian woman organized her church to contribute financially to this man’s medical costs, no strings attached. Eventually — and seemingly as a result of her actions — the man became a Christian.
There are two main things here that really stick out to me as special:
1. The woman’s church worked together with local atheists to pay for the man’s surgery. It seems like Christians these days can’t even work together with other Christians, let alone with atheists! It’s refreshing to see both of these groups laying aside theological differences to help someone rather than letting argument stifle their compassion.
2. The money was given without any expectations or strings attached. I find this particularly compelling because usually it seems that people are most concerned about those with whom they have some connection. Listen to any prayer request list — it will be full of things like “Aunt Mabel is having heart surgery on Monday” and “My wife is on a business trip, so let’s pray for safe travel.” You don’t hear many requests that focus on complete strangers. This man wasn’t even a stranger — he was an outspoken atheist who had publicly disputed everything this church stood for! And yet they gave to help him, simply because he needed help. Who does that anymore??
In a world where it seems like people are increasingly divided and polarized (or asked to be), I am really inspired by these folks — Christians and atheists alike. May we all learn from them to practice patient cooperation rather than “us vs. them” argument, and to pay attention to everyone’s needs and not just those of our friends.