Compassion

March 31, 2014

 

Compassion is not quantitative.  Certainly it is true that behind every human being who cries out for help there many be a million or more equally entitled to attention.  But this is the poorest of all reasons for not helping the person whose cries you hear.  Where, then, does one begin or stop?  How to choose?  How to determine which one of a million sounds surrounding you is more deserving than the rest?  Do not concern yourself in such speculations.  You will never know.  Reach out and take hold of the one who happens to be nearest.  If you are never able to help or save another, at least you will have saved one

                 --From Human Options by Norman Cousins

 

 

Katie Davis, a young teen that gave up everything to adopt orphans in Uganda says that people who make a difference “hold the unshakable conviction that individuals are extremely important, that every life matters. They get excited over one smile. They feed one stomach, educate one mind, and treat one wound. They aren’t determined to revolutionize the world all at once; they’re satisfied with small changes. Over time, though, the small changes add up. Sometimes they even transform cities and nations, and yes, the world.” She talks about running from the things that destroy the soul: complacency, comfort, and ignorance . . . how she is more “terrified of living a comfortable life in a self-serving society and failing to follow Jesus than [she is of] illness and tragedy.”  

The thing that hurts Jesus most is when we fail to acknowledge the hurts of others. Heidi Baker says, “Love looks like something.” It is more than sentimental words, more than prayers—it looks like giving the hungry food, listening to stories of pain, praying with people in the cold, delivering gifts to those who haven’t received gifts in a long time; it looks like finding heaven’s treasures in people. G. K. Chesterton describes a saint as one “who exaggerates what the world neglects.” It is breaking discouragement and despair over people’s lives and revealing who they are through Christ’s eyes.

      

 

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