COMPASSION – A rather unsettling idea for people in a hurry…
How does a person feel compassion when he is cruising above it all in the fast lane: Scurrying secretaries, board meetings, flights to catch, weighty decisions to make.
COMPASSION IS FOR PEOPLE WITH TIME ON THEIR HANDS!
Jesus however, had time for compassion. He felt people’s needs and was deeply moved by them. And ended up feeding the hungry hoards and lovingly healing society’s castoffs. (See Matthew 9:36; Mark 1:41-42)
But the disciples, like me, were rather annoyed by the heaving masses and the dirty lepers, who, today, are those frumpy, disheveled types with grubby beards, bratty kids, delinquent mortgage payments, dented cars and boisterous wives.
People surviving around the fringes of the American Dream and out of sync with the rest of us. People with whom I have nothing in common.
Do I have tolerance for them? Possibly. Do I feel compassion for them? Hardly.
In fact, if I am really honest, those people clutter up my landscape. But, because of my affluence, my education… really, because of my PRIVILEGED position in society, I am able to avoid and insulate myself from them.
And… If I care to admit it, the way I deal with them is to be polite, but NEVER get involved.
Could it be that the greatest plague today is not AIDS or inner city crime, or even the starving masses in some third world countries, but “our lack of love and charity, the terrible indifference towards one’s neighbor who lives at the roadside assaulted by exploitation, corruption, poverty and disease?”
Calvary love leaves me no option but compassionate involvement:
Jesus, while eating with the prostitutes and the city’s lowlife, instructed the censoring religious types:
“Go and learn what this means, ‘I DESIRE COMPASSION, AND NOT SACRIFICE,‘ for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” (Matthew 9:13)