On Compassion

Sometimes it's really tempting for me to cover my eyes, run in the other
direction, or push it aside when I see dark, broken, or painful things. 

It feels as though if I avoid it long enough it will eventually be fixed, go away, or I will just be able to go numb or apathetic to the pain. This, however, is the lazy, ignorant way out. It is full of pride and selfishness and fear. And it is certainly not the way Jesus lived or the life He calls us to.

 

Jesus purposefully went to the poor, the outcasts, the sick, the vulnerable, and the ones hurting the most.

Not to forget He was born in a manger. Nothing phased Him. He was the light in the darkness, a healer to the sick and hurting, and a comfort to the lost. He bore the suffering of the world on the cross and died giving up everything to save us lowly sinners. As followers of Christ, we should strive to be that same light and have that same compassion for others.

 

The author of Compassion: A Reflection on the Christian Life states, “Compassion in Latin means to suffer with. Compassion asks us to go where it hurts, enter into 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.”

 

This is what Jesus did. This is what it means to live compassionately in Church Hill. It is seeking out those suffering and loving the unloved, not shoving them away as the world does. Compassion is relentlessly pursuing kids at day camp no matter how many times they don’t listen to you and not expecting anything in return. It is sacrificing your own needs and desires for the sake of theirs. 

 

Compassion is not only inviting them into your life, but most importantly sharing with them the great hope and joy of the gospel.

While sometimes I really want to take the easy route and run back to my safe suburban neighborhood, I am more often realizing that I am not sure I can soundly go back or at least not permanently. Following Jesus is and never will be the easy way. But that is of little significance when you are living for a future eternal glory and not the temporary life here on earth. We, of course, cannot do this on our own, but the Lord promises that He is with us and will work through us to serve His kingdom.

 

 

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