Religiousness and compassion

Religiousness and compassion

A young man lost his arm in an accident and was admitted to hospital. He became bitter and lonely. Refused to talk to anyone, he became emotionally down. Every day he would look out of the window with tears in his eyes. Then came a visiting counsellor to see him. He looked at the counsellor with anger for some time till the counsellor removed his overcoat saying, ''Look, my friend. I too lost an arm in an accident years ago. I know how you feel''. He hugged the youth with his single arm bringing tears to the boy’s eyes.

Having compassion for others is to feel what they feel. When Jesus saw the crowds who came to listen to him, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd (Mathew 9:36). He not only understood their emotional suffering, but also their physical hunger. Looking at them, he said: “I have compassion for these people... they have already been with me three days and have nothing to eat”(Mark 8:2).

Jesus fed the crowd with just five loaves of bread and two fish. When we have compassion towards others, God multiplies our resources.

William Booth, a very compassionate preacher in England, was very popular and highly respected even by the royalty in England. When he died, at his funeral, next to the Queen came a shabbily dressed old woman to pay her last respect to Booth. The Queen gently asked, “How do you know him?” The old woman with tears in her eyes said, “He knew us; in our suffering, in our poverty and in our pain.” All our rituals, praise and worship would be futile if we do not become compassionate people day by day.

A man fell into a ditch. A doctor passed by, looked inside, and said: “This man will contract a deadly skin disease” and walked away. Then came an engineer who estimated the depth of the ditch, saying, “This ditch needs lot of mud to be sealed.” A social activist passed by remarking, “We must take the civic authorities to task for this carelessness.” He then walked away. Finally came a man who looked into the ditch, reached out his hand and brought the suffering man out. The man asked, “What is your name?” He replied, “Jesus.” 

When he met blind men he touched their eyes with compassion. Immediately, they received their sight (Matthew 20:34). 

A man with leprosy came to him and begged him on his knees. Filled with compassion, Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” (Mark 1:40-41).