In the story of the sinful woman in Luke 7:36-50, there is a woman that comes into Simon's home behind Jesus. She begins to anoint Jesus with her tears and perfume. Simon didn't see her.
"Simon saw only appearances. He didn't feel for the woman because he did not see her. Jesus really sees the hungry, the poor, the grieving, the physically impaired, the mentally deranged, the demonically oppressed and the culturally marginalized." - Calhoun
Compassion - feeling with and for others in their sufferings and being able to help in practical ways.
Having compassion means being able to see someone. Seeing deeper than their appearances. There are so many days I go through life and I only see to the appearance of someone - walking down the halls of Kuyper, sitting in chapel, at the grocery store, at work, at church. There are times when I talk to someone and ask them how they are doing. As soon as they begin to show me their heart, my mind can tend to wonder around all the things I need to get done myself. I figured there is only so many hours in a day that I am awake and available so I need to use those hours to get my stuff done. Wow. What a wrong and selfish view of myself and my time.
This past week I took the time to see people the way Jesus did. My eyes were opened to a completely new world. There are so many people out there hurting deeper than surface level. For example: Instead of thinking about how I needed to get my reading done for the next day of classes, I took on the time to truly listen to someone. By listening to them I was able to see them in their hurting state, pray with them, encourage them and show them the love of Christ. That is what relationships are all about aren't they? Relationships are a privilege to be a part of - being able to listen to one another, share in joys and sorrows, encourage, build each other up, pray together, and love one another. We are able to receive these same things through a relationship with Jesus! By making myself more available to connect with others on a deeper level not only was I used by God to be a light in their lives but they were also a light in mine.
A lot of issues in my own life came into light this week. There were things I had deep down inside my heart that I wasn't even seeing myself. I was letting school, work, and moving cover them up. Compassion is such an important thing. If Jesus had never shown us what compassion really is then I would not have been able to be used in the lives of others and they would not have been able to be used in mine. There were also times that I failed this week to show compassion. Times that I let my selfish desires step in front. The difference this time was that instead of continuing on with what I wanted, I could feel the Holy Spirit convicting me of being selfish. I was able to stop right there in my tracks, turn around and apologize to that person and see them instead of myself. I desire to continue to have more compassion. I know I will continue to fail, but that wont keep me from getting back up and purposely seeking people out to love on.
"When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd." Matthew 9:36.
Jesus was able to see and feel for these people and take further steps to show them the love they were missing.
How can we have more compassion and truly see the people we encounter everyday and show them Christ's love?