Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The Compassionate God: Day 2

Luke 6: 36 “Be compassionate just as your Father is compassionate.”

“The word compassion is derived from the Latin words, pati and cum, which together mean ‘to suffer with.’ Compassion asks us to go to where it hurts, to enter into places of pain, to share in brokenness, fear, confusion, and anguish.” (Compassion, p. 4)

The heart is often referred to as the seat of the emotions in American culture. We talk about our hearts being broken, giving our heart to Jesus, etc. In some cultures the seat of the emotions is in the bowels, the womb, or the ‘gut’ as Henri Nouwen describes. True compassion, not mere pity, calls us to go to the lowest place with the hurting and make a home there, to feel it in the ‘gut’ with someone, which is often acutely uncomfortable. This is what God has done and continues to do in Christ for us.

Is there someone on my team, host family, or sphere of influence that needs compassion today? How can I enter into life with someone, so far as to allow myself to feel their pain ‘in the gut’?

Pray: Ask the Lord for true compassion and take time to intercede for those around you who may be displaced or suffering.

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