Sometimes I use my writing energy as more of a ramble than anything else. This post seems to be one of these times. A comment from someone in 2021 startled me and caused me to step back to ask myself a question. My question is, “Whatever became of compassion?
Compassion, Missing in Action
This past year reminded me to not let my compassion die. A few months ago, I commented on a Facebook discussion where people were chatting about other people they didn’t agree with. My comment focused on the need to extend compassion to people one might not agree with. A reply to my comment dismissed the need for compassion. I was informed. “There are people who don’t deserve compassion.” The comment caused my heart to weep.
“There are people who don’t deserve compassion.” Really? I admit I have thought this way. Not too long ago, I allowed my human frailty to dictate to me. I cried out to God in prayer my anger, my dislike, for a particular political leader. My wife reminded me of the need for compassion and I listened to her. My compassion seemed missing in action. I now pray for this politician in a more sensitive manner.
I pray for myself as well for God to have compassion and mercy on me. I don’t mean to be selfish. “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.”
Compassion is how Jesus lived.
“When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.”—Matthew 9: 36 (NIV)
“Jesus wept.”—John 11:35
Then the Jews said, “See how he loved him!”
“As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it”—Luke 19:41
“He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.” –Isaiah 53: 3
A Collective Compassion
When I think of compassion, other words settle in beside me. Words like tenderness, empathy, pity, kindness, love, and mercy come alongside me and remind me compassion is more than a word. I love the word compassion. I love compassion in action even more. Compassion is love in action and lives in us, as Jesus does.
As Christians, we must hang on to our compassion despite the divisions people create among themselves. Jesus lived as One full of compassion. He wept and experienced sorrow. People noticed His compassionate love for others.
The day in which we live is a day for a life of collective action on part of God’s people. When we consider the emotional upheaval over these past two years, compassion is needed even more. We can do this. Compassion is our nature.
Personally, there is a lot for me to learn about compassion. How about you, dear friends? What might you teach me about compassion? I look forward to learning from you.
Alan lives in Deroche, B.C. with his wife, Terry. He contributed stories to Good Grief People by Angel Hope Publishing, 2017; Story by Story: The Power of a Writer, Unstoppable Writers Publishing, 2018. Alan has written articles for FellowScript Magazine. Blog: https://scarredjoy.ca. He has written posts for our InScribe blog since 2015.