One thing i havent mentioned yet is the number of beggars there are in Karachi. You might know in many developing nations at traffic lights there is usually a phalanx of people waiting to visit you as you wait for the lights to change – Karachi is just the same, the major problem is trying to distinguish the ‘professionals’ from the genuinely poor. Added to this as you walk down the street you cannot go far without being accosted by someone asking for money.
My problem is this: At times I feel such sorrow as I see them, pitying their plight and longing for some long term way to help them, yet at other times my flesh kicks into action and the constant tugging at my shirt or my flesh annoy me.
Today as part of my daily reading I was in John 11, the story of Lazarus. Twice (v. 33, 38) it speaks of Jesus being “deeply moved“. I thought of a number of occasions when it says Jesus was moved by compassion (e.g. Matt 14:14, 15:32, 20:34, Mk 1:41, 6:34). Then I prayerfully considered the state of my own heart.
I remembered recently singing the hymn below, it is a fabulous old hymn – which is based on an 8th century Irish poem made into a folk song which was translated into English in 1905. It is incredible, Jesus focussed, Gospel centred and helping my heart lean towards, and learn from, Jesus’ heart today.
Be Thou my vision, O Lord of my heart;
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art.
Thou my best thought, by day or by night,
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.
Be Thou my Wisdom, Thou my true Word;
I ever with Thee, Thou with me, Lord;
Thou my great Father, I thy true son;
Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one.
Be Thou my battle-shield, sword for my fight,
Be Thou my dignity, Thou my delight.
Thou my soul’s shelter, Thou my high tower.
Raise Thou me heavenward, O Power of my power.
Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise,
Thou mine inheritance, now and always:
Thou and Thou only, first in my heart,
High King of heaven, my Treasure Thou art.
High King of heaven, my victory won,
May I reach heaven’s joys, O bright heav’ns Son!
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
Still be my vision, O ruler of all.