But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd. Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest. (Matthew 9:36-38)
That doesn't sound like you? Then maybe it's lace collars, ballet flats, and tweed coats. Makeup free, refined sugar free, unprocessed, homegrown. Maybe you squeak when you walk.
Or maybe you've read your Bible so much you can't see what's on its pages for the haze that's formed in your mind. Go to church. Attend every Bible class. Raise your hands at appropriate intervals.
But scoot over in the grocery line because he has a tattoo.
Oh, friend, so does God, and it has your name on it.
But Zion said, The LORD hath forsaken me, and my Lord hath forgotten me. Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee. Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me. (Isaiah 49:14-16)
It's shaped like compassion and perfumed with the heart of the Father. For the drug addict. The fornicator. The adulterer. The abused. The abuser. The victim. The perpetrator. The down-and-out.
Nothing Jesus did was without mercy, and everything He did was after God's heart. (Jn 5:30) There are 35 references to the words "compassion" and "mercy" (without derivatives) in the gospels alone. It was how Jesus operated, the pain, discomfort, and anguish of the hurting what He saw.
He didn't simply feel sorry for them. He longed to heal them, and even greater, He did something about it. When others turned the outcasts away, He accepted them.
A woman taken in adultery.
A tax collector.
A woman perfuming His feet.
A man let down through a roof to a place at His feet.
Thieves and robbers.
Nicodemus, a Pharisee.
He turned no one aside, but with a heart of mercy extended love and forgiveness.
Who, my friend, have you turned away?
"He drinks too much. I can't be around that."
"He's having an affair. I can't speak with him."
"She smells funny. She might have something catching."
"Their kids are too wild. Mine might pick up a bad habit."
Now, I'm not telling you to plunge yourself into the midst of sin. That would be foolish. I am telling you to shine your light into the lives of those God has placed in your path. Do what Jesus' did, and do it, head held high, chin up. Don't let the world, the flesh, the devil ... THE CHURCH ... intimidate you otherwise.
Did Jesus tell us to love our neighbors, or didn't He? (Mt 19:19;Mt 23:39;Mk 12:31,33;Lk 10:27)
Do you want to obey, or don't you? What part of His command was multiple choice?
None of it. It really is that simple.
I am not here to attend to people who are already right with God; I am here to attend to sinners. In the book of the prophet Hosea, we read, “It is not sacrifice I want, but mercy.” Go and meditate on that for a while—maybe you’ll come to understand it. (Mt 9:13 VOICE)
Check out what one man did to live a life of compassion: http://www.godvine.com/This-Man-Gave-The-Homeless-The-Shirt-Off-fb-gv--5550.html
Suzanne D. Williams
Suzanne Williams Photography
Suzanne Williams is a native Floridian, wife, and mother, with a penchant for spelling anything, who happens to love photography.