A Heart of Compassion
My friend and co-laborer, Judy Cintron, wrote today’s blog post. She has a heart of compassion and a heart to serve the Lord. -Brandon
I’ll never forget the story of a young mom from Chicago. Her husband lost his job and they lost their home. The three kids piled in the car for the long drive to California for a new beginning. Her husband had big dreams about a fresh start but had no job lined up or any concrete plans.
Like any family with three young kids (two were in diapers) the long drive was rough. Emotions were high when they pulled into San Diego. The mom convinced her husband to pull into a park and let the kids run around for a while. Mom and Dad had just been arguing about the amount of money they had left and what they should do. She thought some fresh air would do them all good. The kids and mom ran, climbed, giggled, and enjoyed the fresh air. Dad sat in the car and sulked.
After 30 minutes of fun, mom gathered the kids up and headed back to the car. Her heart stopped. The car and her husband were gone. The parking lot was empty. There was no sign of the car that held her husband and all their personal belongings. She waited…hoping and praying he would come back. It would be getting dark soon and she knew she had to make a plan. But what was her plan? She was in a town where she knew absolutely no one.
As a child she attended church, but God was like a distant memory to her after years of living in an abusive home with an angry man who could not hold a job. But, church was the only thing that came to her mind as the sun was setting and her kids were getting restless. She started calling church after church asking for help. Many said “we can’t help you,” many said “come tomorrow and we can see what we can do for you.” After many calls, a sweet older woman answered the phone and gave her hope. She arraigned for someone to come pick her up, bring her to a hotel and gave her some money for dinner. She prayed with her over the phone, and told her she would come see her in the morning and help her figure out a plan.
The church showed compassion to her. The church found a small apartment and paid the first three months’ rent. They filled her refrigerator with food. The church helped her find a job. They poured into her life and shared what life could be like if she lived it with Jesus by her side. A few years later she finished her nursing degree, got married, and never forgot the compassion that was shown to her on the lowest day of her life. She went on to run a shelter for battered women.
The Bible says that God is the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort. He has shown throughout history that he has compassion and love towards us. So much so that He does not want any of us to have a life without hope. He shows compassion and desires the restoration of His people. His compassion is shown over and over again even when we turn from Him and mess up time and time again.
Christ challenges Christians to forsake their own desires and to act compassionately towards others, particularly those in need or distress. Christ showed compassion as he healed, fed and taught people. Christ-like compassion motivates us to help with the physical, spiritual, and emotional needs of others.
Jesus replied in Matthew 22:37-40 to a question about what is the most important commandment. He said “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.
How are you giving to others the compassion God has given to you?
1 Peter 3:8 Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble.