Last Sunday my mom and I were driving to Cortez to see a friend in need. Just past the west side of Mesa Verde hill, we saw a barefoot woman running hysterically down the shoulder of Highway 160. She was crying and flailing her arms in the air. She stumbled and weaved as she ran, pure terror. A car was parked behind her and I thought she might be running for her life from whomever was in the car.
My stomach tightened in a ball and I gripped the steering wheel harder. What should I do? I turned to my 81-year old mom and asked, “Do you think we should stop? And, if we do stop should we give her a ride if she needs one?” I was not for sure, but intuitively I thought she was fleeing a domestic violence situation. The parked car behind her concerned me. Her life could be at risk and if we stopped our lives could be at risk. We could call 911 but by the time help arrived it might be too late. And, I had concerns about the coronavirus as well. Would we want a frantic, barefoot stranger riding in our car?
What was our best response?
Many of the stories of Jesus tell about him being moved with compassion. Marcus Borg in his transformative book, “Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time” says, “For Jesus, compassion was the central quality of God and the central moral quality of a life centered in God.” Compassion is feeling the suffering or the pain of someone else and being moved by that suffering to do something. “To be compassionate is to feel as God feels and to act as God acts in a life-giving, nourishing,” and generative way. Frank Rogers says compassion is the heartbeat of humanity that restores life, and Jewish rabbis and scholars believe the ethic of compassion is the essence of the Torah.
Jesus lived compassion. He touched the lepers and the blind. The hungry moved him with compassion. Jesus drew close and healed the man with unclean spirits. He forgave the thief on the cross. He listened intently to the woman at the well.Read
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- 9 a.m. Mountain time, zoom worship
- 11 a.m. in-person worship on the east lawn of the church. Bring a lawn chair if you have one and please wear a mask.
- Tuesday, 9:00 A.M., Pilgrim Walking Group will meet at our church. Bring water and a snack.
- Tuesday, 6:30 P.M., Finance meeting in sanctuary.
Dear Tandana Friends and Supporters,
The management committee for the new health center in Sal participated in a training session where they defined roles, responsibilities, and procedures to make sure they provide great oversight as the health center functions. Two ambulance drivers also received training in safe driving and maintenance of the ambulance. The ambulance will be able to bring patients to the health center, including women attending prenatal checkups as well as emergency cases, and also evacuate patients needing higher levels of care from the health center to the hospital in Bandiagara. Here are some photos from the training.
On Saturday, the residents of Sal held an inauguration ceremony and huge celebration for the new health center! Even young people from Sal who live in Bamako and even further away came back to the villages for this important event. They toured the center, gave speeches, and did performances in the morning, and then continued with a collective dance in the afternoon. Here are a few photos from the day.
We can't thank you enough for your contributions to this project. You can see how exciting the existence of this new health center is to so many people!