The Blessing of Compassion
I am not one that has the books of the Bible memorized or even one that has a verse that pops up for every issue of life and flows it smoothly off of the tongue at the perfect time, but I have found comfort time and time again in one of the shortest yet most poignant verses. Don't get me wrong, memorizing scripture is wonderful, but understanding it and experiencing it is truly powerful.
John 11:35 says, "Jesus wept." Two simple words that carry such magnitude. Jesus wept because He experienced deep sorrow. Jesus wept because of the misery sin brings to humans. I sometimes stop to think of how relatable that is. Jesus Himself felt as I do. As you do. Are there things in your life that are hard, disappointing, or even downright infuriating? If you have lived long enough, then I can safely assume the answer is YES!
Here is the comforting part... He knows and He cares. Even if it is too much for you to handle or nobody else understands, He does. He has been there. He has wept. He bled, died, and rose again to give us peace that in the midst of all of our heartache, anger, and sorrow, we can still find hope.
There are so many issues of life that can make us weep - not just tear up - but sob and weep. These are things that hurt in our souls: the death of a loved one too soon, diagnosis of a terminal illness that can't be cured, abandonment, rejection, divorce, and enter your deepest hurt here... Knowing that Jesus too - the Savior of the world - wept gives me great comfort that I am not alone in my weeping.
Jesus didn't come and say everything will be like an encouragement poster hanging on your wall or the 80's catchphrase, "You can do it!" He didn't come and say things will never get sad, out of your control, sorrowful, enraging, and the list goes on, but He did give us the example of how we can make it through. He wept and He served. He didn't just stay and drown in His sorrow. He took action.
Obviously, our actions will be different than His as we are not going to take on the sin of the world, but we can take steps each day, no matter how small they may be to help serve others. Something as simple as a kind word, a text, a card, or a visit can help someone going through a lot in amazing ways.
My family has been through and continues to go through some things that make us weep as I am sure each of you can give examples of things you have gone through too, but one thing that always helps maybe not stop the weeping but at least lessen it is to do something for someone else. We often get told thank you by someone who has received a card from us. This is not to boast but to illustrate that helping others helps them and you/us. Something as simple as a dollar card and postage has been just what people have needed so many times, and the Lord puts it on our hearts to send them when we hear of someone who is hurting.
The funny thing is that we almost always have the same reply when we are thanked. We tell the person it actually helped us. The card ministry for us was born out of knowing that feeling of weeping alone. We don't want anyone to experience that. I am sure there have been many, many instances that we have missed opportunities or not heard about someone's suffering, but the ones we do, we try hard to get a card out because it is not a card you are actually sending, it is love and compassion to let someone know they are prayed for and cared about. Don't we all need that?
Jesus knows and loves us always and when you find yourself weeping, if you can, after some tears dry, try and ask the Lord to put someone else on your heart and then reach out and show compassion because that is a precious gift He gave us in times of both joy and sorrow...each other.