Clothe yourselves with compassion. Colossians 3:12
It was a cold December in Philadelphia. Eleven-year-old Trevor Ferrell was watching TV in his comfortable home when images of street people flashed on the screen. Trevor’s heart was touched—he had to do something. He grabbed a blanket and pillow from his closet and begged his parents to take him downtown. They resisted at first—it could be dangerous, after all—but eventually relented. Soon, Trevor was handing the blanket and pillow to a grateful homeless man.
That night marked the first of many visits by the Ferrell family to Philadelphia’s street people. Trevor’s friends started joining him, others began donating items to hand out, and a ministry was born. Trevor’s Campaign for the Homeless attracted national interest and inspired chapters across the country. An abandoned Philadelphia hotel was turned into Trevor’s Place, a home for street people, and an adjacent building was transformed into Trevor’s Next Door, a residential living and service center.
Hundreds of people found help and hope because a fifth-grader remembered the words of Jesus: “Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me” (Matthew 25:40). Christ had incredible compassion for the down-and-outers of the world, touching even lepers who were likely shunned by others (Luke 5:12–13). When you encourage your children to help those in need, you move them that much closer to the compassionate heart of Christ.
How are you encouraging your kids to show compassion to others?
What could you do this week for the “least of these” in your town?
Lord Jesus, may we all have ears to hear the cries for help around us. Show us how to respond as You would, bringing Your compassion to our family and to our world. Amen.
Illustration adapted from Focus on the Family radio broadcast, 20 January 1986.