Too often the church is, as I was, quick to meet human suffering with disgust and frustration rather than compassion and service. And far too often, the church perceives certain activity as an insult rather than what it truly is: a cry for help.
The church should never turn away from those seeking relief from the pains of life, no matter how undesirable the cause of their pain. When Jesus encountered ten men suffering from leprosy, he did not turn away. When Jesus encountered a woman suffering from continuous vaginal bleeding, he did not turn away. Jesus always had time for the sick, the hurting, the hungry, the poor, and the dying. Jesus desired the undesirable, the rejected, those who found themselves lying on life’s cold pavement in silence, whose presence and suffering screamed for notice.
—Michael W. Waters, Freestyle: Reflections on Faith, Family, Justice, and Pop Culture (Fresh Air Books, 2014)
When have you felt disgust when you should have shown compassion? Join the conversation.
Because he didn’t despise or detest
the suffering of the one who suffered—
he didn’t hide his face from me.
No, he listened when I cried out to him for help.
—Psalm 22:24 (CEB)
Prayer for the Week
Help my generation rise to meet the challenges of our day with courage and integrity. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.
Through rich and moving stories of people from various faiths, author Frank Rogers Jr. shows ways to incorporate compassion in our daily lives. Start practicing compassion with Rogers in our Academy Recommends eCourse.
(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
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