John says that if we see our brother in need and close our heart against him, how does the love of Christ abide in us? That word for "heart" there is actually the word that means "innards" or "guts". If the needs of those around us don't hit us there, don't impact us that deeply, John says, then we haven't really experienced the compassion that Jesus has demonstrated for us. But it's more than just a gut wrenching feeling, it's a call to action, a call to be compassionate, not just feel compassionate.
We're a long way from Port Au Prince. But there are ways for us to respond.
First, Pray. Let's not ever overlook the power and effect prayer has. Too often we say, Well, the least we can do is pray." No, the best you can do is pray, to seek God's heart, to bring the power of God to bear on the relief efforts that are taking place.
Second, give. There's going to be great financial need over the upcoming months for relief aid, money to buy food, water, blankets, etc. We'll be collecting for that this Sunday and funneling that through World Relief, a Christian relief organization. But it really doesn't matter who you give to, just make sure it's reputable. Does it really matter who gets the credit right now? Simply allow God to speak to your hearts as to what he would have you give, and then do that.
Third, we'll be looking for other ways to help such as clothing donations, relief teams, any ways we can respond compassionately. We'll pass those on to you. And hopefully you'll post here other ways that e can be of help.
Think of how many times the NT says that "Jesus had compassion on them." Let's be like the Lord we follow.