A young man had lost his arm in an accident and was admitted to the hospital. He became bitter and lonely. Refused to talk to anyone and became emotionally down. Every day he would look out of the window with tears in his eyes. Then came a visiting counselor to see him. He looked at the counselor with anger for some time till the counselor removed his overcoat saying “Look my friend. I too lost an arm in an accident years ago. I know how you feel”. He hugged the youth with his single arm bringing tears to the boy’s eyes.
Having compassion for others is to feel what they feel. When Jesus saw the crowds who came to listen to him he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd (Mathew 9:36). He not only understood their emotional suffering but also their physical hunger. Looking at them he said, I have compassion for these people; they have already been with me three days and have nothing to eat”(Mark 8:2). Jesus miraculously fed the crowd with just five loaves of bread and two fish.
When we have compassion towards others God multiplies our resources.
William Booth a very compassionate preacher in England was very popular and highly respected even by the Royalty in England. When he died, at his funeral, next to the Queen came a shabbily dressed old lady to pay respect her last respect to William Booth. The Queen gently asked “How do you know him?”. The old lady with tears in her eyes said “He knew us; in our suffering, in our poverty and in our pain”.
All our rituals, praise and worship would be futile if we do not become compassionate people day by day.
A man fell into a ditch full of dirt. A doctor passed by looked inside and said “This man will contract a deadly skin disease”. The doctor walked away. Then came an engineer who estimated the depth of the ditch saying “This ditch needs lot of mud to be sealed”. A social activist passed by remarking “We must take the Civic authorities to task for this carelessness”. He then walked away. Finally came a man who looked into the ditch, reached out his hand and brought the suffering man out. The man asked “What is your name”. He replied “Jesus”.
The compassion of Jesus is so vivid in the Gospels. When he met blind men, he had compassion on them and touched their eyes. Immediately they received their sight (Matthew 20:34).
A man with leprosy came to him and begged him on his knees, “If you are willing, you can make me clean.” Filled with compassion, Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” (Mark 1:40-41)
How compassionate are you?