Northwestern Ohio District
Church of the Nazarene

When Mona and I moved into the district parsonage, we were told the good news was there had never been water in that basement.

Well, we had not lived there long when one week it rained quite heavily, and the next thing we knew there were several inches of water in the basement. Unfortunately, we were not prepared for this and, in fact, had a number of items destroyed. Work was done, and we thought issues were solved, only for it to happen again. And earlier this summer (to a lesser degree thankfully) it came again.

These experiences have been discouraging and tiring … hauling things from the basement to garage, throwing away a lot of items (some with dollar value, some with sentimental value), cleaning the basement and then trying to arrange things in a way that if it happens again, damage is minimal.

The word “compassion” has two parts: “com” or “co,” meaning “alongside,” and “passion,” with its meaning of “feelings” or “strong emotion.” Thus, the word compassion really means “to feel alongside,” or “to feel what another person is feeling.”

Recently we have watched as hundreds of thousands of people were evacuated from their homes in Texas and Louisiana, and tens of thousands of homes were under water … many destroyed beyond repair. As I watched what they were going through, my heart went out to them. Those few inches of water in our basement had done just enough for me to try to imagine and feel what would it be like to “lose everything,” as we heard person after person say.

More than 80 percent who has suffered such a loss had no flood insurance, and thus are not sure to what degree or by whom they will be cared for, or when. Of course, far, far sadder is the loss of life, and there are those who must somehow move on having lost loved ones and friends.

I certainly encourage you to be involved in some way … perhaps you will be able to go to the Gulf Coast and aid in relief efforts. I hope we all will give in some way. Nazarene Compassionate Ministries is an excellent organization, and funds will be diverted through our churches to their local communities. You can make an online donation at www.ncm.org.

Similarly, as you move throughout your daily activities, I encourage you (and me) to notice the people around us. Many are facing hard issues, loss and hurt. The Gospel writers each spoke of the compassion Jesus had for the people he met. May the same be said of us.

Geoff Kunselman