Monday, September 20, 2021

Got compassion?

It seems like what seems to be missing in many circles today is this: compassion. Compassion is a compound word from the Latin literally meaning “with suffering,” that is, feeling concern for the suffering of others with a desire to help alleviate their burden. 

We are overloaded with information in our world regarding the troubles of other people. And I don’t know about you, but I’m afraid that my own heart sometimes becomes numb to the hurts surrounding me.

Maybe saying “overloaded” is too mild; it’s more like we’re bombarded with accounts of problems – whether in our own community or across the globe. And our emotions get shellshocked. We can’t bear every burden or ease every need. So it feels easier and safer, perhaps, to hunker down in our own bunker, ignoring the blasts all around and hoping there’s not too much damage when we finally emerge to see what’s going on. 

We have a text prayer-chain through church. In the past week there have been 18 (if I’m counting correctly) different requests people have put out for prayer. I also know we need to be praying diligently for the people of Afghanistan who are facing some horrific prospects under the terror of the Taliban. We need to pray for our own nation’s leaders to make right and wise decisions, and for our military personnel’s safety and well-being. 

There are always people in the path of the next hurricane, or threatened by wildfires, or flooding. There are always children at St. Jude’s Hospital who need special care, and there are always children who need care who can’t even get to St. Jude’s. There are always elderly people with all kinds of needs. There are always poor people who could use a helping hand or a hot meal. There are always widows and orphans to look after. There are always victims of violence and abuse who need protection and refuge. There are always families grieving over the death of a loved one. 

Do you see where I’m going here? How much compassion capacity do you have for each of these burdens? But when we stop caring, our hearts grow cold, bitter, and selfish while the suffering around us multiplies. 

Personally, I don’t have enough, and nobody can solve every problem. But I know Someone who does and who can. 

“Cast all your cares on Him, for He cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7). God never runs out of compassion for your need, dear friend. His mercies are new every morning, His love never fails, and His grace is sufficient in every weakness. 

So here’s my prayer. Lord, help me to feel what you feel for the hurts and needs of people. Give me your heart of compassion and strengthen me to show mercy. Let my love not be in word or thought alone, but in action and in truth. Move me to feed the hungry, give a cup of cold water to the thirsty, welcome strangers, clothe the naked, visit the sick, care for the prisoners, serve the widows and orphans, and help those whom You put in my path in their hour of need. 

Most of all, let me point them to You as the One who is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit, the Savior who loved us so deeply that You suffered in our place on the cross, taking our greatest burden – sin – and making it Your own, so that we might be healed, restored, and made new.

No comments: