It's one thing to have compassion. It's another thing to MOVE with it. When compassion is awakened in us, do we just allow it to produce feelings within us, or do we allow it the power to move our hands and feet towards it's intended direction?
Compassion fatigue is real with so much pain up in our face and accessible on our electronic devices at all times, but I would actually call it compassion disassociation.
Disassociate: In psychology, the term dissociation describes a wide array of experiences from mild detachment from immediate surroundings to more severe detachment from physical and emotional experience. The major characteristic of all dissociative phenomena involves a detachment from reality, rather than a loss of reality as in psychosis.
When we detach from our worlds reality to protect our hearts from the pain we see, we risk disassociation and loss of compassion. Even worse is losing the loss of moving WITH the compassion that is placed in our hearts.
Jesus was MOVED WITH COMPASSION. Those 3 words cannot be separated if we are to be effective in our compassion.
Matthew 20:34Moved with compassion, Jesus touched their eyes; and immediately they regained their sight and followed Him.
Matthew 15:32And Jesus called His disciples to Him, and said, "I feel compassion for the people, because they have remained with Me now three days and have nothing to eat; and I do not want to send them away hungry, for they might faint on the way."
And right after he felt compassion for the people, he demonstrated through his disciples how they can move with compassion even if they don't have much to give by feeding the 4000 people (plus women and children) with 7 loaves of bread and a few small fish.
So what do we have to give when compassion knocks on the door of our hearts?
Am I perfect at this? Absolutely not. I get overwhelmed just like the person next to me does but sometimes, and I hate to admit it, to a crippling level. I simply don't want to play into the enemies trap by not moving WITH compassion because I'm not sure what to do with my hands. I want to do something, anything really however small or large it may be. He (the devil) would love to see us all cornered, impotent, full of compassion yet unaware of what to do.
A couple of weeks ago after church in our Downtown Community right across from the NY Stock Exchange, my son Zeke and I walked passed a homeless man. We stopped, had a conversation, prayed with him and then went to go and find Alex who is a part of our Liberty City Team. On a weekly basis, Alex invests in a group of men at the NY Rescue Mission so I really wanted to connect them. As we looked for Alex, Zeke - moved WITH compassion, grabbed 3 small apples that were on the table in our lounge and carried them out to this young homeless man. As I watched my son place the apples in his hands, I saw compassion in action. Zeke wasn't thinking, "Well it's only a few apples and not the keys to an apartment, so let's not give them to him." No. He felt compassion and moved on it. Simple.
Compassion: Sympathetic concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others.
Let's all consciously work on our concern for the sufferings and misfortunes of others to MOVE us into action.
Whatever lies before you, ask God what you can do - and then do it. Even if it only looks like 7 loaves of bread and a few small fish. In the hands of God, thousands could be nourished and cared for and you may never know this side of eternity.
Let's not be crippled by compassion, but moved by it.
If you want to do something in regards to the refugee crisis in Syria, you can give here through Messenger International to the A21 Campaign's Freedom Container Project for refugee's at the Greek boarder.
This freedom container is equipped with the following:
Ten water taps Six showers Solar Power LED lighting Mirrors A hot-water boiler Water filter for drinkable water Drying racks for 50 items of clothing Human trafficking prevention information posted throughout the container