Wednesday, April 22, 2009, "True Compassion"

Triumphant Victorious Reminders
Inspired by the Holy Spirit
By: Teresa Criswell

"...But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he (A man badly beaten) was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him..."
~ Luke 10:30-37 ~

Inside the house, next to the slightly opened door, a woman kneels, leaning as the right side of her head is supported by the wall, slumped over as if to say, "I give up."

The circumstances that surround her are beyond overwhelming. She hears the voices shouting as her circumstance has just been life changing all she can hear is, "YOUR LIFE IS OVER!"She clasps her hands over her ears, and desperately weeps as her body shakes effortlessly.

She is a devoted wife, and mother, memories of holding her son as she first met him the day he entered the world. It seemed as it were yesterday. Her mind travels from memory to memory of him when she is brought back to the harsh reality of what took place the night before. Just another evening, she had just finished cleaning the kitchen awaiting for her son's arrival. He was to be home at any moment. That is when she heard the knock at the door. She thought, "That's odd, he has a key to get in." As she opened the door, it would be the opening of a door that will forever change her life. It was not her son standing there, however it was a sheriff with his hat in his right hand holding it against his chest. His saddened countenance said everything as he thought, "How do I utter such words." His deep, crackling voice interrupted the silence as though time seemed to stop for her. "Ma'am, I am very sorry to inform you that we have identified your son that was killed tonight in a roll over accident..." His voice seemed to disappear as her mind and ears seemed to only hear echoes of sound. Like slow motion her knees gave out as she falls to the ground in total despair. This could not be happening, all the plans he had for himself, no, tomorrow was the award's banquet. He was to be receiving his MVP award as he played baseball. All she could do was scream as her whole body wept out everything inside of her.

I interrupt this scene as I ask myself the following questions: Did I just pass her by in the parking lot of the grocery store? Did I pass her by in the grocery store aisle? Is she behind me or in front of me as I wait to check out impatiently at the store? Is she the one who is assisting me at the store? Is she my neighbor? Is she... I could ask question after question as I am convicted this morning, do I wear the compassion of God? We all have it within us if we know Jesus Christ as we are filled with the Holy Spirit, however, we must 'tap' into that rushing river within us, so that it may flow to benefit others for the glory of God. I can only imagine one of these tragic life stories, let alone the range of struggles throughout life.

So many people wear their hurt in many ways. Lord, I want to love with your love. I want to encourage with Your encouragement, I want to be a vessel that shows that there is hope to the hopeless. I want to show forth that your lovingkindness is better than life itself and because of that my lips cannot help but praise you. I can praise you as I encourage others, showing forth Your unconditional compassion in a world that is filled with conditional compassion.

I am 'reminded' of a quote that our guest speaker said a few Sunday's ago: "When the priest and the Levite approached a dying man, badly beaten by thieves on the side of the road they chose to pass him by as they asked themselves, 'If I help him this man, what will happen to me?' However when the Good Samaritan approached the badly beaten man, he asked himself, 'If I don't help this man what will happen to him?'" True compassion is revealed in the way we question a situation. Am I more concerned about how I will be looked at, or is my concern simply for another human being and asking, "If I don't help, what will happen to her or him?"

Just like that man badly beaten, left for dead, many of our circumstances leave people badly beaten and left for dead. By default this is the world of sin we live in. However, we can see the Greatness of God prevail. What will we choose to do today?

As I think on this, I pray you are encouraged as you flow in God's compassion today, as He has shown forth His compassion on us in ways we could never imagine.

*The story told in the beginning is not based on an actual event that is known to me personally. As I prayed this morning to know what to write, I imagined this scene of despair being played out before me.


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