"Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you; he rises to show you compassion. For the LORD is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him!" Isaiah 30:18
"When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd." Matthew 9:6
"Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience." Colossians 3:12
Compassion is the only word that comes to mind for me this morning. Compassion is one of the traits of Jesus that I know has been growing in me. Compassion is being stirred up, and there are just some days where I just want to throw myself on the floor and sob, and cry for all the iniquity in the world today. It's not a depression, just more of an understanding that there is so much hurt, so much anger, so much need, and the only thing I can do about it is pray- when on the inside I want to do so much more.
Last night before I went to bed, I had been spending time online chatting with a group of ladies when someone jumped on and shared about an orphanage in Haiti that was looking for people to adopt their children- specifically boys, people generally want to adopt the girls while the boys remain. Oh, my heart leaped out of my chest at that! Those beautiful boys- all under the age of eight, playing and smiling, and just wanting a family. It broke my heart because all I can do is pray that they find their families. Yet if the means were not an issue, you can bet I'd be on a phone with that orphanage, finding out what I needed to do to bring some of them home to be mine.
I think those thoughts carried over into my dreams last night. Because I had a dream that we were living in a different house and a man dropped by in the middle of a dark and stormy night and literally dumped three children on me. One baby girl and two boys under the age of five. I loved them instantly, and wanted to take care of them forever, but then a short while later a grizzly couple showed up, claiming to be the parents and took them away. It broke my heart in the dream, and I still recall the sobbing I did in that dream as my children were ripped away from me. I'd only had them in my arms for a few hours, but they were already mine. The wails of a grieving mom are not easily forgotten.
Then this morning, as I sat down at the computer, I find a short message from a friend on the other side of the globe. The Muslims in the country of Malaysia are attacking and burning the Christian churches in Kuala Lumpur. Instantly I prayed that my friend and those he loves would stay safe, and he and his country will be on my mind all day long, I suspect. But the compassion that is stirred up inside of me is just making my spirit weep and sob for that country! I am crying for the Christians who have to worry about being able to worship God. I am crying for the Muslims who display such zealousness- if only they could be so zealous for the one and only true God! (Minus the radical extremes, of course.)
The thing is, as I'm praying for all these things, I'm digging deep to pray for them. Jesus himself carried an abundant supply of compassion with him while he walked on this earth. What I honestly wonder is, how is it that he was able to walk on the earth without just curling into a ball and sobbing. Really. How is it that he was still able to hold himself upright and walk among the lost? I think it's because he knew there was hope. That is something I intend to find as well. Right there in my spirit, right next to the compassion that is springing forth is the side order of hope to go with it. As long as I have Jesus, as long as the world has Jesus, we have hope.
And so I pray, and maybe I weep, but mostly, I pray, and I look ahead. I use that hope to look toward heaven and await an answer, because Jesus is always the answer.