Here Now With You: Six Movements of Compassion for Life and Leadership
By Gregg Louis Taylor (Abingdon Press)
Gregg Louis Taylor, a pastor with Houston reVision, approaches compassion mystically as a means of making “conscious contact” with God. He describes compassion as a way to be present with others and to experience God’s presence with us. Taylor suggest compassion is an antidote to the divisiveness in our world.
Taylor writes from a pastoral perspective and illustrates his points with compelling and streetwise stories. Since his stories come from gritty experiences, readers should expect some cursing and crude language, particularly when he quotes youth with whom he works.
Here Now With You is written in two parts. The first six chapters describe how one can live compassionately. They are paired with the second six chapters, which provide a guide to compassionate living meant to be engaged relationally—people working through the guide together.
Chapter One challenges the reader to learn to see their own and others’ belovedness as beings created and loved by God.
“What is it like to be you today?” is the subject of Chapter Two. Asking this question of someone and really seeking the answer helps develop compassion for others.
Taylor dives into a definition of compassion in Chapter Three. It is to move beyond sympathy to suffering with others, entering into their pain like Jesus inviting Thomas to touch his hands and side.
In Chapter Four, Taylor challenges readers to reach outside their in-group—the normal sphere for compassion—to connect with people in the out-group.
Chapter Five describes how compassion provides a place in the church for people who are condemned, either by others or themselves.
Finally, Taylor’s description in Chapter Six of how compassion can be embodied in surprising and joyful ways is a story that simply must be read.
Eric Black, executive director, publisher and editor