I’ve been meaning to write this post for several weeks now but one by one my household has become sick. And since I was least affected, I was the one taking care of everyone else. I’m happy to report that we’re all better, thankfully! So here I am, the 18th day of January, 2014 and I’m so excited to hit the streets with the gospel showing the compassion of Christ to all whom I meet.
We read in Matthew’s Gospel 9:35-36:
And Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.
The word compassion used in the verse above means to feel something in your gut, your bowels or your heart, on behalf of someone else. Compassion means you actually take time to feel. You don’t just drop a dollar in the cup and keep walking, but you look into the man’s eyes, you smell him…he stinks, you ask him the reason for his plight. You listen to her story, you feel her pain and then you look into her eyes while holding her hands in yours, and tell her God is the answer.
You feel the fist colliding with her tender pre-teen face so many years ago, and the words “you’re a loser, you’ll never be good enough.” You feel the shame of his poor choices that led him to begging for spare change and think to yourself, but for the grace of God there go I. You feel it all, and it rushes into your gut until it hits too close to home, and just like the verse above you’re moved with compassion. The operable word is “moved” because compassion doesn’t just feel, but true compassion acts.
In 2014, I want to feel what others feel and to be moved to action on their behalf; with the grace, love, kindness, gentleness, boldness and sincerity of Jesus. To you this might sound trite, but I encourage you my dear brother or sister; the next time you’re in the most ordinary of situations stop what you’re doing and look into the faces of the people around you. Only then will you see it, and only then will you be moved with compassion.