the end of the day Working at this ministry now for all of eight weeks (when I wrote this), here is my seasoned perspective on the place: Compassion is filled with broken, renegade, ragamuffin, hopeless, and hopeful Christians. Just like you.

We spend most of our day caring for kids we don’t know, wondering why more people don’t do the same, and standing with one foot in a sea of desperate humanity, and one foot in an ocean of blessed grace.

The day is long with need and hope.

It reminds me of the story of Eutychus. After a long day, Eutychus went to a late-night church meeting with Paul as the featured speaker. It was likely hot in the crowded room, so Eutychus decided to sit in the window ledge to catch a breeze.

As Paul was preaching, Eutychus was getting sleepier and sleepier. He finally fell asleep and tumbled out of the third-story window, to his death. Seeing this happen, Paul ran to the lifeless Eutychus and “hugged him hard.”

“No more crying,” Paul said. “There is life in him yet.” Undaunted by the interruption, Paul told even more “stories of faith” until dawn! At dawn, the crowd dispersed with everyone, including Eutychus, “full of life.”

Days at this ministry are often long and hard. Every child released is a joy, and each release reminds us about the rest of them.

However, at the end of every day, despite our best human efforts, we still land in the hands of grace. I haven’t fallen to my death in my eight weeks at Compassion—although some meetings had me looking for a window. But, I have certainly felt physically, emotionally, and spiritually exhausted.

I remain so thankful that the grace that gives life to a young man doing his best while handicapped by his own humanity is the same grace that covers us at Compassion, a collection of messy Christians battling the “impossible.”

When they picked him up, he was dead. Paul went down, stretched himself on him, and hugged him hard. “No more crying,” he said. “There’s life in him yet.”

Then Paul got up and served the Master’s Supper. And went on telling stories of the faith until dawn! On that note, they left—Paul going one way, the congregation another, leading the boy off alive, and full of life themselves. —Acts 20:9b–12, MSG

Prayer: Jesus, thank you for your grace. Help us to explore the wonder of that grace every day and to be amazed by you in a new way.


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  1. Michelle R.
    Dec 30, 2012
    at 8:13 am

    “We spend most of our day caring for kids we don’t know, wondering why more people don’t do the same, and standing with one foot in a sea of desperate humanity, and one foot in an ocean of blessed grace. ~ Jon Burgess”

    What an incredibly powerful sentence. Would you mind if I used it in some of my forum signatures? I truly love it.

    Wishing you many years with Compassion…. and moments of peace and rest when you need replenishing! THANKS for all you (and the other Compassion Employees) do. You make such a difference!!!!

  2. Tondja Woods Colvin
    Jan 3, 2013
    at 3:31 am

    Winston Salem, NC

    I love the photos. I, too, love the statement.

    “We spend most of our day caring for kids we don’t know, wondering why more people don’t do the same, and standing with one foot in a sea of desperate humanity, and one foot in an ocean of blessed grace. ~ Jon Burgess”

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