So much has happened lately.
I had my cat put to sleep last week. It was really hard. I stroked her head as she went through the final indignity of being held down and getting the injections in her shaved leg. The house seems empty without her.
We had two wonderful encouraging baptisms yesterday. One of our good friends got married, and we watched the wedding over the Internet.
And there have been tragedies. Close family members have a family member in the hospital. One of those in our house church is out of town with her grandmother who had a mild heart attack. I got the news last night that a brother who led a nearby sister church passed away unexpectedly. I saw on Facebook this morning that the grandchild of someone who is loved by many of us is not doing well in the hospital.
It is so fitting that I have been studying out compassion.
Here is some of what I’ve read –
Then Moses said, “I pray You, show me Your glory!” And the LORD said, “I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the LORD, in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. Ex 33:17-19
And he (the Lord) passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, “The LORD, the LORD, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness. Ex 34:6
Part of the unapproachable holy glory of God is His compassion. It is one of the factors that make Him so awesome.
Look at how Ps 103 describes this —
Praise the Lord, my soul;
all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the Lord, my soul,
and forget not all his benefits—
who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion,
The Lord is compassionate and gracious,
slow to anger, abounding in love.
All of these things listed that we should praise the Lord for – forgiveness, healing, redemption, blessings — stem from His compassion. We should magnify the Lord with EVERYTHING IN US because His nature is divinely gracious, caring and merciful.
I see great examples of compassion all around me . I saw a post on the “People of New York” about one woman who got hooked on heroin, and can’t kick the habit. Hundreds of random people cared enough to comment and tell her to hang in there, that she could do it.
Our friend Jack wrote to the man who is going through the acute illness of his grandchild: “Our hearts are with you as you and your family endure trials and sickness. . . I have not walked in the challenges that are upon you, and you have lots of close friends; we all with one heart are on our knees thanking God for you and your family and asking Him to care for you. You are precious to God. We pray and we weep with you in your sorrows & trials . . .”
This is compassion – a heart that is deeply moved by the challenges of another, that is WITH THEM in grief and sorrow. God created us to be a people who would resonate with one another. We were never made to be a people unto our self.
The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end. Lam 3:22
By His mercies I have every benefit of my life — the breaths I take, my health, my redemption, a bounty of good things. Out of His perpetual mercy He gives, and gives.
And as that wells up in me, I slow down, take a deep breath, and take time to feel what others are feeling. I try to continue to the chain God started.
Life is to be shared.