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January 12, 2020 1:00 am
This week we discuss the difference between sympathy and compassion. Compassion is the force that not just helps us recognize someone in need but helps us actually do something about it. Captain Jimmy Taylor also continues sharing his stories of mission work during his time as a Salvation Army Officer.
Series: The Least of These
The Salvation Army you're listening to wonderful words of life will come back everybody and welcome again to Capt. Jimmy Taylor be back good to be back indeed were on this new series called the least of these, and that it's special for us to have Capt. Taylor back it's hard for me even say Capt. Taylor because he was my pastor right here in the Atlanta area for some time and that he is someone that is just approachable. He's an authentic person. He's a pretty good guitar player.
I wish I got. I think you can catch them on any number of transmission CDs but we were not able to harness that's right he he really is someone who knows the Salvation Army well and serves literally the least of these.
While you're here in Atlanta.
You started a program that yeah is special to us.
Yet, when I was commissioned Commissioner Izzy Gaither gave us a commencement speech and he said you get your office. You can sit down your brand-new office miles, a closet, but it is a brand-new office to sit down your have your bags unpacked over your laptop you what I do now. In that moment happened to me here at the Temple court. He said when that moment happens. I want you to go for a walk. And so I got up at my desk. I went for a walk and I didn't know what the Lord is leading me to do.
As I walked to meet the sellers nonreturnable courts located in a little bit of a corporate office park solid individual walk under a bridge and just in my heart is the Lord to follow him, which already kind of massage are uniformly look like a cop, like all man only good I know you are taking out and a walk on his father's Joan under the bridge and of course I spoke to him. But there was about 30 guys under their one lady and I sat down and I just said I'm from Salvation Army I'm running the street.
What can I do for you.
Why are you here tell me your stories and one of the guys remember them so so in debt. His face just like a map or malicious so rugged and he said to me. I waited eight years for some of Salvation Army to come here and see me. His name was Joe. I sat down with Joe and I talked with him and they said you know we really need we really socks I said you know we we we walked all the time and so I make socks happen so went down to the backers of the street not purchased a pack socks and I came back I gave him some socks and said you know what else I just want to get to know you and or homeless man.
What we we always are for something to eat and so that Wednesday we would do our youth programs and and we have left overs inside box them up and I take him down and we just began to have this relationship with with these men and this one woman down there and they they stop seeing me as a threat. This also that want to make a difference right and end the didn't see them as you know, a drunk or a homeless person I saw someone who is created in the image of God and that had value and was redeemable and so we began to just really really minister to these guys and this this in mind of this idea came to my mind knows me and this guy is no officer named Capt. Josh Henson. He and I realize we have some showers and a gymnasium note didn't used very often in these guys.
They obviously were in need of a shower. They told me they there was a creek that runs by and they said that's were use the bathroom. That's where we bathe and we loved a hot shower. As we came back we talk with the commanding officer and they said yeah I can use the showers and so we started reaching out to these guys and said you want to get cleaned up note, no, no, no, nothing else. Just you want to shower and they said yes so we began to collect toiletry items with the church members. My first thought that I don't know that you accept this and people would just give us stuff and drove shampoos and soaps and even the those squishy loafers and gorge a homeless guy look at you like shrub and they would begin taking showers and mean something that we take so much for granted. A hot shower, these guys would come on Tuesdays and Thursdays and Josh would know I would sit down there. We talk with them. We start realizing that they also had an issue they would get out of the clean out the shower they be clean and they put on the dirty clothes and we said we we gotta do something about this and so we start appealing to the church folks and where she got some volunteers out of it but with to start donating closed and we began a call the laundry ministry. They would give us the dirty clothes would give them clean clothes and wash and and it would give him the next Thursday whatever we give them the clean clothes back in and began to become a laundromat. The homeless and we went from seeing something like like eight or nine guys at the very beginning to win when I was transferred out after about 1819 months of this, we were having 3040 people coming and it just became something that was something that was so important of these men. It was more than just a showers more than just a movie at donuts and coffee. They began have a relationship with Josh and I and we began to be able to really pour into some other issues. To me that's two of the three things that William Booth started the Salvation Army with soup soap and salvation. I think those relationships that you are building gave you an opportunity to then speak into their lives as well as meeting them with practical things.
Thank you for that vision. Thank you for being true to God's calling on your life.
We begin a new series last week called the least of these, which is a series put together by Salvation Army officers Robin Heather Dolby and were praying this series is just a huge dose of empathy for the marginalized people in our society. The ones that maybe most people overlook. Last week the focus was on our prayer that God would help us see those individuals and this week we move on to compassion. Look forward to talking with Jimmy about this more next week. Thanks for joining us for this series the least of these, as we have a conversation around how we serve our neighbor, who is our neighbor.
This week will be talking about compassion and so in Mark 213 it says a large crowd came to him and he began to teach them as he walked along, he saw Levi son of Alpheus sitting at the tax collector's booth, follow me. Jesus told him and Levi got up and followed him. I love that it's in the same way we spoke last week about having eyes to see that Jesus says as he walks around he sees everybody he sees everything.
And through this filter not only of how can I how can I see so that I can move forward. How can I see an inmate to engage the world around me and said he sees and then he engages with a response when I literally love about Jesus when he set eyes on Levi. He didn't see him at work in his tax collector booth Technorati rank and when I think many would be given Levi Sinai because tax collectors were not respected in favor of reviled Jesus saw any sign of all the things he could be in the kingdom of God ultimately redeemed Jesus. He's right. And Jesus says hey follow me in and we take this as this deep moment of like you're receiving your calling right now from God. Come follow me which it is but also if we just read a couple verses after Jesus is like. Come follow me because I want to spend some time with you. Let's hang out because all of a sudden where are there so Jesus has come, follow me, and they end up at Levi's house having dinner together. So Jesus with his big profound follow me is like I want to hang out with you. Let's break some bread together like Levi catches the divine mommy were like a window opens for him as a door of opportunity opens and thank them only are you not driving because I believe Jesus encounters people in the world can counter me.
There was so many times before I actually received salvation. Jesus was standing at the door knocking out Frank did not take the moment I take the moment and it reminds me, I mean your story and when you took them on right so you know we all have these moments where we hear Jesus call us and say follow me and for me I think I shared my story a little bit before, but I found myself in a pretty dark place. I was homeless living on the street for two and half years, sometimes in shelters, sometimes literally a sleeping bag on street was that guy that in the bus stop and you know I had my motion were Jesus said, come, follow me, and it was a profound moment where the Spirit of God entered my life called me to repentance and right from that moment God just met me were I was at and allow me to walk away from every single thing that was killing me.
That was lit literally embodying death in my life and came and brought life and I love that moment, but still Levi has this moment were Jesus says come follow me. I'm sure the rest of my story though because there's not only the moment were Jesus comes in. No longer am I homeless on the street. No longer am I addicted to heroin with a needle in my arm expansionist freedom, but there's also this moment for me in my story were not only does Jesus say follow me. Then Jesus brings the body of believers to stand around me. And so Jesus ends up at Levi's house for dinner, but is there with all his disciples. There's like this community so the community that I was invited into. I ended up in in Vancouver Canada going through detox program at the Salvation Army I was there for about 7 to 10 days coming off the drugs. That's where I met Jesus.
That's why repented and gave my life to him. But after that I didn't have anywhere to go. You know, I didn't have family to go and stay with burn all those bridges in my life so she can walk out the front door. This detox center and just end up back on the street again some rough streets and I knew if I just had to walk out of that detox again and head back to the street and I knew where I would end up in it was probably back on drugs.
Even though I had Jesus with me. He called me. So this body of believers in the Salvation Army came around me and asked invited me into their community.
They said you know when you're finished detox where you can go and my answer was I don't have anywhere to go and she can have to go back on the street and so they said no, come with us and they invited me into their community to live in their home and so I get there I took the Greyhound bus from where I was to where this faith community was in the Salvation Army and I get there and someone picked me up from the Greyhound station and they drive me to their house.
This house that I need to be living it in this Christian community, and when I get there. Not only do I get there, but there's all these people gathered. It was a little bit intimidating like there's like 15 people and I go in and on the table.
There's like this huge feast like there's food just from one end of the table to the other and I'm kinda like what's what's going on here you know this is a little bit weird and other like what we want to welcome you into the kingdom and so we've made a feast to welcome you into the kingdom we've taken all that the finest food write the best food that we could find and we could make an we've just put a spread out because we want to celebrate that God is welcoming you into the kingdom.
And that night I sat and ate with my brothers and sisters of the most beautiful food and they all gathered around and washed my feet.
So in this place were Jesus called me out of darkness, you know, in the fullness of that story truly having compassion and mercy, grace on the least of these also looks like community coming around those who are coming out of their brokenness in the Salvation Army's mission doing the most good. Helping people with material and spiritual needs. You become a part of this mission every time you give to the Salvation Army visit Salvation Army USA.org to offer your support and we would love to hear from you. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-800-229-9965 or write us at PO Box 29972, Atlanta, GA 30359 when you contact us will send you our gift for this series is totally free for listeners like you, one per household, while supplies last. You can also subscribe to our show on iTunes or your favorite podcast store and be sure to give us a rating. Just search for wonderful words of life follow some social media for the latest episode extended interviews and more. And if you don't have a church home. We invite you to visit your local Salvation Army worship center will be glad to see this is Bernie date inviting you to join us next time. Salvation Army wonderful words of life