Thursday, September 1, 2011

Compassion



I am studying Mark with a group of ladies from my church. This past week we were to read the book through and then begin with our first lesson. As I read the book I was struck with the word compassion. No matter His circumstances, desires or needs, Jesus had compassion on others. What is compassion? Webster defines it this way:




com·pas·sion

 noun \kəm-ˈpa-shən\

Definition of COMPASSION

: sympathetic consciousness of others' distress together with a desire to alleviate it


What is the difference between feeling sorry for someone and having compassion on them? Both are aware of the situation of another, both evoke a feeling, but feeling sorry seems to stop with the feeling. I can see a need, acknowledge the need and feel for that person yet go on about my business. Compassion requires action, compassion moves past the feeling and puts feet to the prayers if you will. Jesus showed compassion by touching the untouchable in Mark chapter one. A leper by law had to stay a stones throw away from others, yet Jesus allowed the man to approach Him and Jesus touched the man even before the physical healing. In Mark chapter 6 Jesus had compassion on the multitudes and gave them food to eat because they were hungry. In chapter 9 a father pleads with Jesus for compassion for his son, don't just acknowledge us, don't just feel sorry for us, but please help us.

I must admit that often times I stop at feeling sorry for someone. I see the need, I even acknowledge the need with a look or a prayer, but it doesn't really take root in my being. Often times Jesus first took care of people's physical needs, before he addressed their spiritual need. Who are the lepers of today's society? I am guilty of looking past the leper because of the ugliness, I keep them at a distance, a stones throw away, why, because I don't want to be face to face with the choice of moving past feeling sorry and actually doing something. What about the hungry, do I avoid the street where the homeless stay because I am too busy with my life to stop what I am doing and see them as Jesus does? Then there is the parent pleading for their child, I don't care if you help me, but please help my child! Am I in such a rush that I move past them with only a look and a passing prayer?

Father, help me to see others with your eyes. Help me to move past my look of sympathy and a quick prayer as I walk past those in need today. Help me to be the hands and feet of Jesus and show compassion by reaching out in Your name.



1 comment:

  1. What a wonderful post- it hit home!! I joined you in the prayer at the end. You do have such great insights and thoughts- thank you for sharing!!

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