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Tuesday, October 24, 2017

"Eyes to See" (Compassion Canada)

TITLE: Eyes to See -Reflecting God's Love to a World in Need
AUTHOR: Compassion Canada
PUBLISHER: London, ON: Compassion Canada, 2017, (152 pages).

One of the greatest biblical indictments about the human race is this: People have eyes but not see. Used frequently in the Old Testament judgments of a rebellious people of Israel, prophets have constantly railed against the disobedience of the Israelites. The prophets Isaiah and Jeremiah had frequently reprimanded the Israelites for their insensitivity to the call of God. Jesus also rebuked the religious leaders in the first century about their stubborn hearts and closed minds. For many of us in modern world, sometimes we get compassion fatigue where we see so many needs around us that we simply got overwhelmed to the point of inaction. Others presume good intentions are enough. Others deem themselves too small and unable to do anything helpful at all. Poverty is real. Some images of poverty may guilt-trip us into action. Yet, we need something far more substantial in order to make some difference in the world. This is where this book enters in. Rather than simply rely on random images of poverty or TV commercial to jiggle our heart strings, this book provides a six week journey to sharpen our vision and our compassion for people in need. At the end of the 30-days exercise, it is hoped that readers will not only develop eyes to see but hands and feet that are ready for action.

Week One is about asking God where the needs are in Canada and what the ultimate solution to poverty is. We are reminded about invisible people before our very eyes. Invisible not because they aren't present but because our eyes skip them. We learn about poverty less about material things but about relationships. We expand our vision to see the depth of poverty even in our backyard. Learning to see poverty beyond mere materialism is a powerful start toward healing and wholesome providence. The ultimate solution is the reconciliation power of Jesus Christ.

Week Two (Seeing Ourselves) comes up close and personal to help us see ourselves better; why we have our blind spots; and what things hold us back from showing compassion. We look at true riches and what a good life really means. We are gradually challenged to live an upside-down way.

Week Three (Seeing God) is about us learning to see God better. Focusing on how Scriptures describe God, we learn to see Jesus in the example He led; the Holy Spirit prompting us; the role of the Church; and how the gospel is both declaring God's love as well as demonstrating love.

Week Four (Seeing Others) is about seeing the world from God's perspective. It starts with an insightful survey about how the average Canadian view poverty. I'm moved by Shane Clairborne's words: "I had come to see that the great tragedy in the church is not that rich Christians do not care about the poor but that rich Christians do not know the poor."

Week Five (Seeing the World) focuses on stewardship, how we can reach the most vulnerable; supporting ethical projects; learning generosity; and everyday mission.

Week Six is about action on how we can be Jesus to the world everywhere we go. 

This book is about education of the average believer in Christ. It is about sharpening our focus on the true problem of poverty and to work toward being part of the solution. Through the daily journeys, we face the issue of poverty head on, beginning with the mind, and letting the knowledge guide our hearts. Things of charity and compassion can sometimes be more emotional than rational, which could lead us to take action without adequately considering how helpful we could be. We need people who have actual experience on the ground. This book is a great resource that combines some of the latest literature with real-life tested experiences to give us a bigger picture of what poverty is and what we can do about it. Most importantly, it is about cultivating eyes that see.

Other Resources
Website: www.eyestosee.ca
Compassion Canada: www.compassion.ca

Rating: 4.25 stars of 5.


This book has been provided courtesy of Compassion Canada and Graf-Martin Communications without requiring a positive review. All opinions offered above are mine unless otherwise stated or implied.

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