Written by Channing Boone, Founder of Coated in Compassion
Two years ago, my sister Carlie and I moved to an apartment in downtown Dallas. Beautiful windows opened up to Ervay street and during the holiday season, it was delightful to watch the lights of the city reflect off the large towers that surrounded us. We knew beforehand that moving downtown we would be surrounded by people from all walks of life.
Businessmen, valet drivers, ladies lunching at the fine retail centers, young graduates trying their hardest at their first corporate job, and neighbors that would become friends.
However, I was not prepared to look out of the large window to see a man covered in a tarp lying above a vent to keep warm or see a woman without a coat at the fountains of the Chase tower using the water there to wash her hands and face. I was not at all prepared for the lives that simply needed compassion that surrounded the streets of downtown Dallas.
Thanksgiving of 2017 my sister, brother, and I left our father’s house with to-go containers of leftover dinner. The three of us walked around downtown passing out meals to those without a home. It was then that God began to squeeze my heart, breaking it for what broke his: a human life without much, simply needing someone to suffer with together, providing compassion and warmth not only in the physical sense, but through love and understanding.
WHAT IS COMPASSION? Compassion comes from the latin words “com,” with, together, and “pati,” to suffer. As humans, we see compassion demonstrated daily through a kind word, a consoling hug, or a sympathetic tear. But what about those who have lost everything, how do we show compassion to them?
More often than not, it seems as though we blame their addiction, their lack of willingness to find a job, or simply look past them because it makes one uncomfortable to make contact with another when asked to “spare some change.” But what if the change we spared was not nickels and dimes, but a change within ourselves? What if we spared the criticism and replaced it with compassion, care, and commitment to those who ask us to spare some change?
After ignoring God’s tug for quite some time because I did not think I was capable of the task he wanted me to do, he created a divine appointment with a man I have come to admire greatly, Robin Pou. Robin coached our office on ways to better oneself in the workplace and build a team that is strong and resilient. One of the exercises he had us perform was crossing our arms in the opposite direction that we normally do. It was quite uncomfortable.
However, I wondered the rest of the day why he did not ask us to uncross our arms and simply open them to what others have to say or need. Later that evening at dinner I asked him this. We talked of how often we keep our arms crossed when God has asks us to simply hold out our hands and accept that what he gives us will be sufficiently provided for. And there it was, God once again reminding me that it was time to stop crossing my arms and open them to be his instrument for those who suffered and were in desperate need of human compassion.
MY VISION FOR DALLAS Robin then asked me what it was I wanted to do in life and where did my passion lie? I responded by telling him how I longed to help those who were overlooked in Dallas, those without a home or someone committed to helping them. Of course, Robin’s face lit up as he knew exactly the next step to help God’s plan for this passion come to life. Robin introduced me to Elisabeth Jordan of The Human Impact.
The Human Impact walks alongside those they connect with in Dallas who are homeless, committed to bridging the gap of life after loss. We met for coffee and I shared God’s desire that he had placed on my heart. During that meeting, Elisabeth graciously provided a platform for God to fulfill what he placed in my heart and the vision he has given me to show his compassion through providing coats during this winter season to those in Dallas who have experienced loss and are without a home.
SEND US YOUR COATS! This winter season, The Human Impact will take Coated in Compassion under its wing as we collect new coats through a donation based system and provide those on December 7th to the homeless in Dallas. During the month of November, donate your coats by contacting us here!
I no longer live in the same apartment, but I still see the loss and the homeless on the street and I am sure you do as well. Coated in Compassion seeks to provide care and commitment through compassion, suffering with others. By being compassionate we experience care and through commitment to those we show compassion to, we provide a warm coat to weather the winter, ultimately building a relationship going beyond the coat.
I am not sure what the future holds for this calling. My prayer is that by simply saying yes and uncrossing my arms, that God will continue to utilize this longing to share compassion and extend it beyond a coat and change a life. Even if it is only one life, that is to be celebrated. - Channing Boone, Coated in Compassion
An added bonus for the day from our friend Shelley Brittain and her daughter Drew— This is my 10-year-old daughter Drew. She has the opportunity with her school to do what they call Genius hour projects. Her idea this year was to do a community service project, something that would allow her to have direct experience with serving the community. When I told her about this opportunity, she was very excited for the idea to be a part of something like this. She is excited to serve and is looking forward to putting the goodie bags together with her friends and handing them out in December!