How do you communicate genuine love to people? How do you cultivate a heart of compassion for the hurting and broken? How do you begin to see interruptions as golden opportunities? There are some people in my life that I see live this out every day and Pastor Carl Lentz is one of them. He is one of the most anointed friends I’ve ever met when it comes to loving his city and its people as a way of life. Recently at the ARC Conference, we sat down and talked about what it means to truly love the lost. I will never forget his sincere words of compassion.
“Proximity creates passion. Distance creates distortion. Whatever you’re close to, you will be passionate about. Whatever you’re far from, you will not care about. That’s why many pastors start out passionate about the lost and then over the years it becomes professional. It becomes corporate…You start to miss the culture. I want my hands to be as dirty as they can be…There is something about making sure you feel humanity again.” Carl Lentz
To feel humanity again. Wow. I think that is exactly the heart of Jesus. He left His own space, He came close to us, got His hands dirty, felt what we felt, experienced our pain, and never condemned us for our struggles. He simply loved us. I think that He wants us to follow His lead. I love this verse:
“Oh how your servants love this city’s rubble and weep with compassion over its dust!”– PSALM 102:14 (MSG) –
Where some may see brokenness and rubble, we see treasure, pieces of something much bigger and greater. Cherishing those who are lost, broken, and hurting is one of life’s greatest honors and it is our highest calling on this earth. There is nothing sweeter. I want to encourage you to get close to people who aren’t quite like you. Go out, find someone, hear their story, get your hands dirty, and “feel humanity again.” Watch how your compassion comes alive and your fire lights up and see them encounter Jesus.