“Compassion asks us to go where it hurts, to enter into the places of pain, to share in brokenness, fear, confusion, and anguish. Compassion challenges us to cry out with those in misery, to mourn with those who are lonely, to weep with those in tears. Compassion requires us to be weak with the weak, vulnerable with the vulnerable, and powerless with the powerless. Compassion means full immersion in the condition of being human.” Henri J.M. Nouwen
Compassion asks us to go somewhere. Compassion is not just about feeling sorry, pitying or even praying for an individual, believing in a cause or feeling sorry for something that grieves us or someone else. True compassion compels us to move without limits.
I was moved by something that I witnessed this past week in my own circle. I am involved in a single moms ministry at my local church. One of our moms just had a brand new baby and was in deep need. Alone, with 4 children, one of which was a nursing babe, recovering from delivery and experiencing stroke level blood pressure she was at her limit. We reached out to our team of ministry partners who were near her home, they dropped everything, brought her meals for the week, encouraged her, prayed for her and loved her right where she was.
They didn’t say “Oh someone should do something”
They didn’t say “Oh I’ve always wanted to help someone like that” and then went on with their comfy life drinking their latte or surfing Facebook.
They didn’t say “Oh I’ll just pray for her” and forgot.
They didn’t say “Oh that is a shame”
They were the someone. They were the answered prayer.
They were the hands of Jesus. They were the feet of Jesus. They were the words of Jesus.
They immersed themselves in the pit and brought life. They brought the heart of Jesus because they moved.
True compassion comes from a place that is compelled to act.
Generosity doesn’t ask questions before it acts – it just does.
Compassion requires a relinquishing of self love for the betterment of the other.
As the church we are called to share the gospel, but the gospel is not just a lip service kind of thing.
“Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.” Matthew 25:34-36
The gospel is not just words.the gospel is living, moving and breathing through you and me. The gospel compels us to touch the needs of others without thinking about our busy schedules, our comforts, our preferences, whether or not the person is worthy or deserving of benevolence, without over thinking .the gospel moves.
I was chatting with someone the other day who was saying that they would love to help someone in need. I thought “What is stopping you?”
If it is good – move.
If it will heal someone – move.
If it will feed someone – move.
If it will bring Christ to life in the form of a human need – move.
Don’t over think generosity, don’t over think compassion, don’t over think love.
Thomas Merton is quoted as saying :
“Love seeks one thing only: the good of the one loved. It leaves all of the other secondary effects to take care of themselves. Love therefore, is its own reward.”
Love compels us to move.
Be moved to love.
Be moved to compassion.
Be moved to generosity.look around you, notice someone who needs you to move in the name of love.
“If you can’t feed a hundred people, feed just one.” – Mother Teresa