JESUS CALLS US to enlarge our circle of companions, to expand compassion beyond the boundaries of our present awareness. Jesus ate meals with misfits and outcasts as well as with his friends. Jesus healed the daughter of a Gentile woman, even as he claimed that his main mission was to save the Jews. When I imagine Jesus staring into that woman’s insistent face, I believe his own heart was broken and his compassion enlarged by God’s boundless mercy. All of us, it seems, are candidates to be stretched Godward by compassion coaching.
– Don C. Richter
Mission Trips That Matter: Embodied Faith for the Sake of the World
Occasionally, opportunities come my way to "enlarge my circle" a bit. It’s not planned. But one needs to recognize an opening when it’s present. Sometimes, I feel God is nudging me a little bit more out of my comfort zone. Other times, I know he’s really stretching me … and that’s scary. In both cases, I cannot and must not be too stiff and rigid. If I am then, I easily break. When I’m open then I can be bent accordingly 🙂
Enlarging the circle is one needed step. The reality is in many cases we don’t even have a circle yet, and we are entangled, stuck, and crisscrossed to a degree that some efforts needs to be done, to get us into a circle again.
So, the work of enlarging the circle may need to come after significant energy and time is spend on getting ourselves out of the being entangled. At first sight it looks impossible. It can be long, and needs lots of patience. Perseverance is a must. And a good dose of healthy possibility thinking too … Don’t give up too easily!