Can I PLEASE Get Just a Touch of Compassion??
Ephesians 3:12 “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts…” (ESV)
Have you been or seen “That Mom?”
You know, the Mom in public with a war zone on wheels? The one begging (like I was that fateful day) “Can I please just get a little compassion over here? Just a “touch?” …not even a lot?”
Shrieks of arguing and complaining boomed from my cart as I trudged through Walmart trying to check off my seven item shopping list.
All I wanted to do was quickly grab them and go.
Instead, I was in the throws of battle. The sounds of my three sweet blessings from God blasted in the ears of fellow shoppers.
Every second held a land mine of conflict. Suddenly, little brother reaches over and grabs a fist full of big sister’s hair—again—unleashing the Gatling gun of whining.
I just wanted to take cover as people shot dirty looks my way that screamed “Lady, get your kids under control!”
But the medic was on the scene in the distance…
There was one pair of smiling, sympathetic eyes that looked my way. All at once, my wounds were bound up with one single “knowing” look that whispered, “I’ve been there. You will make it through.”
The touch of compassion I needed so much came at just the right time.
Two Sides of Grace
As I think of that time in the grocery store…all the ugliness hurdled my way…it reminds me that I am not immune to doing the same thing to someone else. And I wish we humans were more empathetic to the condition we ALL suffer from A.K.A humanity, but alas; I cannot say that is a reality.
Grace and compassion don’t come freely or naturally to us.
Instead, we are often met with the wicked counterpart of grace—
The cruel, unrelenting critic never offers a kind word—especially when there is one in need. No. Instead, this person tells us in no uncertain terms how and why we failed.
The cruel person offers comments that start with words like, “You should’ve…” or “Why didn’t you?”
Aren’t we glad that Jesus doesn’t say that to us? I am—so glad. Instead of cruelty or even just condemnation, He gave us the greatest “touch of compassion” ever known to man.
And if we are recipients of such great love and compassion, where can cruelty possibly abide?
Bind Don’t Break
Cruelty will ALWAYS break hearts—even if it is a little dirty look at the grocery store, or fussing at the waitress because she messed up the order, or… (fill in your “pet peeve” here)
But if we are in Christ, this shouldn’t be who we are.
Check out this passage:
Colossians 3:12-14 Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, 13 bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 14 And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.
Christ followers have been given the ministry of reconciliation. We as “chosen ones of God” are to emulate Christ’s character to those around us. WE are the image of Christ here on earth.
God in Christ forgave so great a debt that could never have been paid at our own expense. We are lowly recipients of a gracious and loving touch of compassion from our Heavenly Father.
He bound up our hearts when we were broken by sin. And He calls us to be heart binders, too. But if we are the ones doing the breaking, there is no room for binding.
Everybody needs a touch now and then. It could mean lending a helping hand, sharing a hug, or offering words of encouragement. We need to be mindful that we are called to be ministers of that touch of compassion in this cruel, cruel world.
Jesus gave a similar message to the twelve disciples:
“As you go, proclaim this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give”. (Matthew 5:7-8, ESV)
So as we freely received the ultimate touch from our Heavenly Father—He healed us when we were sick, dirty and dead with sin—we should freely give the same touch to those in need. (Even Mommies with cart loads of crazy kids at the store…)
Let’s be known as a people who share a touch of compassion with a lost and dying world.