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18 July -Are you indifferent?

There is a saying “People do not care how much you know, until they know how much you care”.

The dictionary defines compassion as “suffering with another, sympathy; sorrow for the distress of misfortune of another with a desire to help; pity; commiseration.”

Unfortunately many people don’t feel like anyone cares. They fail to experience or feel another’s compassion towards them.

But in a world where perhaps we have forgotten how to show compassion, we may need to practice it. In order to learn compassion, the best place I know to turn is to the source of it.

Jesus is the best example I know of one who demonstrates compassion. He is the Master Teacher. When He ministered to the people He was not afraid to get involved in their lives, to feel their pain and to do all He could to alleviate it.

Jesus taught compassion as He lived amongst humanity by his willingness to touch and bless others. The hands of Jesus touched those who were sick to heal them. (Mark 1:40-41). He wasn’t afraid to touch the lepers, the sick or the dying.

Now a leper came to Him, imploring Him, kneeling down to Him and saying to Him “If you are willing, you can make me clean. ”Then Jesus moved with compassion, stretched out His hand and touched him, and said to him, I am willing; be cleansed

Jesus was willing to touch the lives of all who came to him, regardless of age, race, gender, or social and economics standing. Essentially he was not “afraid to get his hands dirty”. He was not so distant and removed from others that he was not moved to tears because of others suffering.

And Jesus went forth and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion towards them, and he healed their sick.” (Matthew 14:14)

When He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary, and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd”

The world desperately needs to see expressions of compassion. For us to go and love someone exactly as they are.

We can easily look out at the suffering and craziness happening in the world around us and wonder what it is all about, and feel helpless to change anything. But Jesus proved and continues to prove that, that is not true. In a world, which was cruel and harsh, he brought peace, love and healing to all he met, and he expects us to do the same.

Compassion is the antidote to indifference. Compassion is the antidote to harshness evil and cruelty.

Compassion is something we can develop wit practice. With both intention and action. It means remembering to open our hearts as Jesus did; to expand what and who matters from ourselves to others. Then we act; we ask the question and following Gods leading of “what can I do about it?”It may mean giving of our finances and time, or offering a helping hand, a word of encouragement and a smile.

It will involve having the willingness to put ourselves in someone else’s shoes, to take the focus off ourself and to imagine what its like to be in someone else’s predicament.

Compassion in action has the potential and ability to change the world, to overcome evil and to bring peace and unity.

Mother Teresa said, “if we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other”. I would rather make mistakes in kindness and compassion than work miracles in unkindness and hardness.

Make room in your heart and life to feel and show compassion to someone today.

Prayer: Lord help me to see others through your eyes. To not be so self focused that I miss what others are going through around me. Teach and guide me to be like you Jesus, and have compassion. In Jesus Name Amen.

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