March 9, 2020
A Calloused Heart
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God (2 Corinthians 1:3-4, NIV).
Friend to Friend
The whole family had been sick for a week, but our daughter was the last one standing … until she fell. Danna is a very hands on mother of two boys, so when Justus and Hudson were sick, Danna held them, laid down with them at night to help them fall asleep, snuggled with them on the couch … you get the idea.
Both boys and their father Sam were finally all cleared of any illness. Cue Danna getting very sick. But Danna tends to be like her mother and just keep going. When I asked her why she didn’t just go to bed when the boys were in school, her answer had a very familiar ring. “Mom, I have decided that if I keep moving, I will eventually outrun the germs.”
That plan did not work, and her sweet husband ordered to bed where she promptly collapsed. But when the boys’ bedtime rolled around, she stubbornly announced that she was going to lay down with Justus.
Danna crawled into bed with a very concerned little boy. Justus adores his mama and has the most tender heart. “Mom, I’ve been thinking.” When Justus utters those words, you know you need to pay close attention to what he is about to say. Danna smiled at her sweet boy and said, “Tell me!” Justus put his arm around Danna and said, “Tomorrow I am taking you to the doctor. I know. I am only 10 years old, but I’ve been thinking about it and I think I have it figured out. If you don’t feel better tomorrow, we are going to the doctor. Okay?” Danna knew when it was time to surrender. “Okay, buddy. But I’m sure I will feel better.” Justus was not so sure, but he rolled over and quickly fell asleep.
In the middle of the night, Danna awoke to someone gently rubbing her cheek and kissing her forehead. It was Justus. “Honey, what’s wrong? Did you have a bad dream? Do you need me to lay down with you?” Danna asked. Justus smiled and said, “No, mom. I was just checking to see if you felt better yet.” When she told him that she did indeed feel better, Justus hugged her and tucked her in before going back to his bed. His parting words melted Danna’s heart, “I thought so. I explained everything to Jesus and I just knew He would make you feel better.”
I want to be like Justus … and the good Samaritan.
I have a love-hate relationship with the Good Samaritan in the Bible. The Samaritan chose to help an injured man lying on the side of the road. So many others had passed the man and done nothing. Maybe they didn’t have time or just did not want to get involved in what would surely turn out to be a messy situation - or maybe it was because the man was a Jew.
The Jews and Samaritans hated each other. There was no logical reason for this Samaritan to rearrange his plans and spend his money to help this enemy in need. But compassion doesn’t look for reasons or give in to limitations. It searches for opportunity.
The Samaritan had a choice, just as we have a choice every time we are confronted with a need. We must adjust our thinking to understand that some people are more needy than others. We can either ignore the need, or we can meet the need by giving away part of the comfort God has given us when we have been in pain.
Galatians 6:2 (NLT) “Share each other’s troubles and problems, and in this way obey the law of Christ.”
If we can’t prevent pain, we can at least lighten the load with compassion. Alan Redpath wrote, “You can never lighten the load unless you have first felt the pressure in your own soul.” Compassion makes us willing to feel the pain of others, responding as if it were our own.
Father, forgive me for my calloused heart. I have allowed myself to grow numb to the pain in the people I meet each day – to my own family! Please break my heart for what breaks Yours. Teach me how to be a conduit of Your compassion to everyone I meet. Help me see the pain and then do something about it.
In Jesus’ Name,
Now It’s Your Turn
Read the story of the Good Samaritan found in Luke 10:31-37. How can you apply the same truths in your life that the Samaritan applied when taking care of the wounded man?
Wherever today finds you, look around for someone in need – someone who needs a touch of compassion in their life. Are you willing to let God use you to meet their need?
More from the Girlfriends
Compassion is fueled by love. True love doesn't collapse under pressure or fall apart in the hard times. How can we experience and practice that kind of love? In her MP3 download, Love That Never fails, Mary shares her story and explains how to define, discover, and experience unconditional love.