Doing Mercy in the Suburbs

This is a great piece by Susan Fikse on doing mercy in the suburbs.  She quotes Tim Keller in his excellent book, Ministries of Mercy:

Keller writes that as we keep our eyes open, we will discover needs on the roads we travel, as did the Good Samaritan. “The family needs to look ‘in close’ before it ‘looks afar.’ You must be sure that there is no bleeding man right under your nose, in your family, church, or neighborhood … . A family’s mercy ministry should develop naturally, not according to a formal program. It should be comprised of the needs God has led you to.”

... “Your job is to initiate contact. You must turn strangers into contacts, contacts into acquaintances, and acquaintances into friends,” writes Keller. “Christian ministers of mercy are unique in that they intentionally and systematically seek to build bridges with all the people around them at home, at work, and at church. They do this to discover needs and to create a climate in which others can share their weakness.”