Monday, May 5, 2014

Compassion and Mercy

For a while I have admitted that I struggle with compassion. For some reason it has been hard for me to get into another person's shoes and try to feel what they might be experiencing. I saw hurts and struggles and injustice from a distance but did not allow myself to get close enough to experience emotions.

A few months ago I started seeing and reading a lot about child abuse and sex trafficking. The more I read, the more horrified and outraged I became. I felt sick to my stomach at things that have happened to women and young children. I thought that these issues probably bother me because I have young children, a girl and a boy, and I cannot imagine either of them being victims of these things. I want to do everything in my power to protect them from the evil in our world. And I'm sure most parents feel the same way. Although thinking about these horrors causes me to pray for Jesus to come quickly and make everything right, I find myself kind of relieved to know that there is some compassion in me after all.

Then, of course, God slammed me with a new realization. What he wants from me is not compassion, but mercy. Mercy is compassion in action. It is taking these feelings and doing something about them. I love how God has patiently guided me toward his true desire. He has met me where I am and faithfully brought me closer to where I am supposed to be.

But I feel somewhat helpless at this point. What can *I* do to help prevent these injustices, to rescue and heal victims of injustice? I know that there are wonderful programs out there being the hands and feet of mercy. I *feel* like I don't have a lot of time or opportunity in my stage of life. Yet I know that if I research, God will bless me with an opportunity to help in this area right where I'm at. Lord, please move me from compassion to mercy!

He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To ACT JUSTLY and to LOVE MERCY and to WALK HUMBLY with your God.   ~Micah 6:8~