Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Inconvenience of Compassion

“But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, took him to an inn and took care of him.”
~ Luke 10: 33 & 34

I happened upon a blog entry the other day, from a fairly famous author speaking of taking care of a good friend of hers who was battling cancer. What struck me about the entry was that she had committed to cooking for her dear friend every day. After reading a series of entries and realizing that she not only fulfilled her promise, she also took care of her friend until the bitter end, when her friend finally bid farewell to this present world. As dedicated and loving as this may sound, I thought of times when this author possibly did not feel like preparing a dish or maybe had other commitments while raising her four children (yes, I did say four) and working a full-time job. After, I mentally lived these days of hers with all of the long lists of things to do and she still found time to care for her friend I realized that showing compassion could sometimes be inconvenient.

It is much easier to go straight home from work and soak in a warm bubble bath than to drive someone to an appointment that does not own a car or better yet to help that teenager who may be struggling in a particular subject after school. However, it is the loving compassion that Christ wants us to show to our fellow man. When we think of the parable of the Good Samaritan, it would have been much easier for him to be like the Levite or the Priest and continue on with his busy schedule, but he decided to stop and nurse the man back to health, while undoubtedly canceling those appointments just to ensure a fellow human being had a chance to live.

But Jesus knows that we our first instinct as humans is to ensure our own well-being. Our food. Our money. Our clothes. Our shelter. So, he challenged us to love our neighbors as ourselves. This is by no means is an easy feat, but with God’s spirit and our willingness it is indeed possible. In fact, let’s start today.


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