MOVED WITH COMPASSION
On several occasions in the gospels Jesus is said to be 'moved with compassion' and the phrase has me reflecting on my level of compassion; more specifically it has me wondering if my compassion is even ANYTHING like the compassion of Jesus.
The greek word for the English phrase 'moved with compassion' is splangchnizomai and it is a very descriptive word; as in far more descriptive than our pallid English phrase 'moved with compassion'. The greek word derives from a greek verb (splangcha) which is of the bowels, intestines, or entrails. (Spare me the jokes about being 'moved' right now.) These were known to be where our strongest emotions come from because they were said to be our most inward parts.
This means when it says Jesus was 'moved with compassion', it is to say "His heart was torn out...His gut wrenched, and the most vulnerable part of His being was laid bare."
I am not very confident in many moments of my compassion. I fear my most compassionate moments might be little more than warm fuzzies or a relegated "That sucks" statement. My compassionate moments and feelings are pretty manageable.
Now, these illusions of compassion can be convincing to my friends and others I interact with, but they aren't too convincing to God, I am sure.
Even for a moment, I look back on my day, my week, or month and I cannot point to a moment I was torn up about anything. I cannot remember the last time my gut was wrenched by SOMEONE ELSE'S pain. I am not sure I even know what it would look like for the deepest part of my being to be exposed over someone else's hurt or experience.
These are the realizations that prompt me to pray:
"GOD, TEACH ME TRUE COMPASSION. TEACH MY HEART AND LIFE TO BE MOVED WITH COMPASSION BY ANOTHER PERSON'S PAIN OR HURT...SO THAT I MIGHT ACTUALLY BE MORE LIKE YOU (AS I SAY I DESIRE TO BE)."