April 10, 2014
I will recount the steadfast love of the LORD, the praises of the LORD, according to all that the LORD has granted us, and the great goodness to the house of Israel that He has granted them according to His compassion, according to the abundance of His steadfast love. Isaiah 63:7
Kamryn Renfro is a third-grade student in Caprock Academy in Grand Junction, Colorado.
Kamryn Renfro is also a young lady who has a great deal of empathy. Not so long ago, Renfro's 11-year-old friend, Delaney Clements, underwent chemotherapy to fight neuroblastoma, a malignant cancer which usually affects children. As was expected, the treatment caused Clements to lose all her hair. Feeling sorry for her friend and wishing to show that friend she was not alone in her battle, Renfro had her head shaved.
It was an act that ended up with Renfro being kicked out of school.
Now I don't know if that sounds like a strange reaction to you. It did to me. Then I read the story and it told how the school had a policy which desires to "promote safety, uniformity, and a non-distracting environment for the school's students." Apparently, a shaved head is something the authorities consider to be unsafe, distracting, and too individualistic.
After thinking it through, most of you would probably agree that Renfro's head-shaving is not all that dangerous to the student body. On the other hand, a case could certainly be made for those who would say a bald third-grader can be both distracting and the work of an individual ... a caring, compassionate individual.
The removal of a young lady from school is the kind of thing that happens when people get caught up in the letter of the law and fail to understand its spirit. It's the kind of thing that happens when there is a lack of compassion.
My friends, every one of us ought to get down on our knees and thank the Lord that He has no lack of compassion.
When Adam and Eve sinned, God's justice declared they must be punished. But the Lord did not confine Himself to proclaiming words of condemnation upon His fallen children. Almost immediately after He told them they must die, He offered them the promise of a Savior, a Deliverer, who would offer Himself as the price to ransom their lost souls.
Isaiah speaks about the Lord's compassion, which is motivated by God's limitless love.
It is that love which we see throughout Jesus' ministry. Compassion was there when He spoke to the crowds; it was there when He fed the hungry; it was present when He healed the sick. As He hung upon the cross, His compassionate heart reached out in comfort for His mother and spoke words of forgiveness for the guilty parties who had had Him condemned.
God's continuing compassion is there for you and me.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I have been saved by the Savior who, motivated by compassion for lost humanity, gave Himself for our redemption. May my life reflect His love to others. In His Name I ask it. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries