"Compassion is the sometimes fatal capactity for feeling what it is like to live inside somebody else's skin. It is the knowledge that there can never really be any peace and joy for me until there is peace and joy finally for you too." Frederick Buechner
What is compassion?
People are dying every day. There are homeless people in every big city; hospitals are full of hurting patients that never leave.. so when do we take the time to stop our own lives and do something about it? Do we need compassion even if it means risking hurting ourselves or risking rejection?
My friend Kaelibeth and I were talking one day about student missions and how we want to serve the world because there is so much need. She said that it frustrated her often because when sften she told peole her dreams, they said she shouldn't spend her time worrying about other people's problems and pain because they would always be there.
I understand that there is tons of brokenness and hurting in the world, but I also believe that one person can start a ripple effect of beautiful things that can make a difference and show Christ in a hurting world. If we want to live like Christ, we must develop unconditional compassion. Yes compassion takes sacrifice, sometimes by time and sometimes smiles. But Jesus sacrificed His life for us, so we should be willing to give our lives to help the people around us.
"Charity is more common than compassion. Charity is tax-deductable. Compassion is time consuming."
The Good Samaritan story has been revised and replayed countless times in modern society. Often the news shows tragic stories about accidents where there is a man or woman hurt on the side of the road and they end up dying because nobody stops to help at all. The funny thing is in other situations, all it takes is one person to jump in and help- then suddenly there is a huge crowd willing to do anything to help the hurting person.
These stories were someone is injured on the side of the road and nobody helps- those baffle me. Why should it make a difference if we are the first person to see the person hurting and do something or the last? Do people have compassion and just fear rejection? Or do people lack compassion and only join in because of peer pressure, obligation, or in order to impress their neighbors.
Whatever the reason, we must stop our excuses, and develop Christ-like compassion that is true. When people see the difference in us, that we care and will do something to help, they will come to know Christ sooner and learn His true character. If we decide that we will demonstrate compassion no matter what the cost or the sacrifice, Christ will bless us and use our kindness to do amazing things.