Monday, August 4, 2014

Living deeper than mere sympathy - deep caring compassion (Isaiah 54:10)

SCRIPTURE: Isaiah 54:10 (TM) – larger reading Isaiah 54:9-17
“My love won't walk away from you, my covenant commitment of peace won't fall apart." The God who has compassion on you says so.

“It was in those who had recovered from the plague,” wrote Thucydides, “that the sick and the dying found most compassion.”

At least in my mind compassion is more than just sympathy. Oh, the dictionary has it different definition and that’s okay. For me compassion takes sympathy to a different level. The thinking here is: I identify with the person… I know what they are going through because I’ve been there… I’ve traveled where they are traveling… Their pain has been mine… Compassion.

Most of us lean towards sympathy not compassion. Unfortunately, most of us in in the helping professions (clergy, physicians, nurses, social workers, etc.) lack compassion. Sympathy is there and we think that is enough, but if there is a desire to bring healing and wholeness compassion should rule the day.

When I hear that God had compassion it was at a point of identification. He understood. He’s walked in my shoes. He has faced what I am facing… Compassion. Wrapped up in our own little worlds makes for a very small person. It results in someone that lacks compassion. Could God be talking to me?

Back burner is an easy place to put others. Turning away… ignoring… leaving to others… not my job… pretty good at doing that. Doesn’t the spirit get tired… weighed down… burdened… worn out? Am I not just bailing from that which should be a driving force of my soul? What if God treated me the same way? Where would any of us be if God stopped showing us compassion?

Okay! Okay! I get the message God. Compassion – real caring – identifying with the sick, the dying, the hungry, the naked, the disenfranchised, the border children, should be the order of the day. God doesn’t walk away nor should I… but God that is real harder… very demanding… but through our godly compassion others might find hope to take the next step, next breathe, live another day… through us. Wow!


You have shown us compassion, we need your help to continue the journey.

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