Tuesday, July 29, 2008

A lesson on compassion.

Today I got a beautiful reminder of something that I should never have forgotten, and I wanted to write it so I would be able to look back and remember it.

As a little bit of setup, I've got bit of a summer cold. Stuffy nose, sore throat, cough, all the fun symptoms the day/nightquil commercials talk about. This morning was particularly rough as my head felt like it was ready to pop. Not in the migraine way, but in the way a water balloon must feel while it's being filled... just before it explodes.

Today, someone stopped by my office to say good morning and 'how are you'. I made a joke about how I had a cold and he'd better get away quick - mentioning how my poor office mate was stuck in the office with me and couldn't escape the germs.

And then the most surprising thing happened.

There's those moments, when the look in someones eyes changes. That moment always gives me a pause. Foolish conversation carried on between the three of us while he did the exact opposite of what I had advised. I'd told him to get away from the germs, and instead he came into my office, squeezed through the opening to get behind my desk, and stood next to me with his hand on my shoulder while my office mate and I rambled on about antibiotics and germs and whatnots.

And I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that I was being prayed for.

I could write a whole post about how foolish I was not to embrace that moment better and the even crazier reasons why I probably didn't even though all three of us in the room were professing Christians.

But that's not what really brought me to attention today.

What stole my thoughts today was the compassion that changed his entire expression.

My thoughts began twisting with old thoughts about God that I'd just simply forgotten. Thoughts that, you know to be true, but you just get too wrapped up in whatever new idea you're flittering about with to remember. I spent the rest of the day, and into the night just considering my compassionate Father. His motivations for healing aren't about how sick you are. It's not comparing a simple cold to someone elses fight with cancer. He's looking at you, only you, and seeing you in whatever state you're in and being moved with compassion.

I too often forget that. In my quest for seeing God move, or seeing His power at work, being able to see the miraculous things - too easily it becomes only about the power, and not the reason for the power. Or, most importantly, the heart behind the power.

That kind of compassion changes you first, it hits you and twist your normal 'whatever' response, to something that genuinely cares about the other persons resolution to whatever it is concerning them. It's what propels you from where you are comfortable and not affected, to a place where you simply can't help but reach out. That's when the heart of God is most profoundly reflected in us.

It's hard to keep all the titles in my head, all the traits and aspects of God and His character. But besides powerful, I need to tack up the word compassionate. I serve a compassionate God. And I needed that reminder.
I also need a greater measure of that compassion.

As a side note for the testimony of it all - I ended up e-mailing that gentleman later, because by the time he left my office my head had stopped hurting and despite still having cold symptoms still, they weren't nearly as uncomfortable as they had been when he had arrived.

Despite my wealth of complaints and worries, I ultimately always find myself agreeing with the lyrics of the song - "He ain't never done me nuthin but good."

2 comments:

NaNcY said...

a very beautiful reminder for me as well.

One Sided said...

What a great answer. to the question: How did yousee God this week?