Devotion in Motion: Turning their passion into compassion

  11 “Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many.

  12 “And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.

  13 “But he who endures to the end shall be saved.  Matthew 24:11-13 (NKJV)

By Bro. John L. Cash

When you’re a country preacher, you spend a fair amount of time visiting folks in hospitals. I’ve seen a lot of health care professionals at work over the years, and some of them are much better than others. I think I know the reason for this. It actually comes from the way children are parented now. And, really, it’s a pretty easy thing for us to change. Allow me to illustrate.

First of all, I’ll tell you a story about excellent care. Almost 15 years ago, Susan had to have an emergency appendectomy. She suffered complications and had to have a second surgery to stop some internal bleeding. The days without eating and loss of blood left her weaker than I’d ever seen her before. Frankly, I was worried.

Just then, a very sweet nurse came in with a concerned look on her face. She said, “Susan, can you think of anything that you would possibly want to eat?” Then she left the room and heated a can of Campbell’s tomato soup at the nurses’ station. She fed the soup to Susan one spoonful at a time. She fed Susan a cornbread muffin, one tiny bite at a time, as if Susan were a baby bird.  She took the last bit of the muffin and sopped out the bowl and fed Susan the last bit. Susan has told me that it was the best meal she had ever had in her life.

That was the positive example. Now for the negative example. I was going to tell some stories about medical workers I’ve seen who rendered poor care. But I’ve decided not to. I don’t want to get anybody in trouble, and there’s no need to directly add to the negativity in the world. But suffice it to say, I’ve seen situations when health care workers “didn’t give a rip.” And it’s surprisingly common and widespread. Just use your imagination.

Now, what makes the difference? I think it all has to do with what people used to tell their children, compared to what they tell them now. In previous generations, adults everywhere asked children, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Parents encouraged their children to choose careers in the fields they love — to devote their lives to works of service they felt passionate about. But in the latter years, young people are encouraged to go into fields that “pay well.” The lack of passion leads to a lack of compassion.

Susan’s nurse had an interesting story. Her husband of many years passed away with cancer. and she was impressed with the loving care his nurses had given to him. Newly widowed, she started nursing training when she was in her 50s. Is it any wonder Susan got such wonderful care from this remarkable lady?

There’s a scriptural lesson for us here. Jesus said that in the Last Days, “the love of many would grow cold.” I think we’re seeing that result in today’s world in so many ways. Let’s encourage our babies to do what they do best and do the things they love most. The world will become a better place when they turn their passion into compassion.

Dr. John L. Cash is the “Country Preacher Dad.” He was raised in Stuttgart, Arkansas, and has spent the last 33 years being a country preacher in the piney woods five miles south of the little town of Hickory, Mississippi. He’s a retired Mississippi public schoolteacher with grown sons, and is now a stay-at-home-grandpa with his grandson, Landon Cash. He and his lovely wife, Susan, live in a brick house in town (where we had some much needed sunshine this week.) You can send him a note at