“Every hurting person was [Jesus’s] son or daughter. Compassion is the antidote to our indifference. . . . Our compassion for hurting and hard-to-love people begins with eyes-open prayer.”- Kyle Idleman
“As [Jesus] approached the town gate, a dead person was being carried out — the only son of his mother. And a large crowd from the town was with her. When the Lord saw her, his heart went out to her and he said. ‘Don’t cry.’ “- Luke 7:12-14 (NIV)
In Chapter 4 (“The Power of And”) of One At a Time, Kyle Idleman talks about when he traced the times Jesus showed compassion in the Bible. Most significantly, Pastor Idleman states that a conjunction usually follows Jesus’s feeling of compassion, the word and. Therefore, Jesus followed His feeling of compassion with action. Also, that created a one at a time story. And, Kyle underscores:
“Jesus’s life makes it clear that compassion isn’t just an emotion. It’s more than just feeling sorry for someone. Jesus shows us that compassion is a strong emotion that elicits a physical response. The test of compassion is in the and.”
Furthermore, Pastor Idleman counsels, compassion for hurting and hard-to-love people begins with eyes-open prayer. To pray with eyes open means that we see others one at a time. As a result, we reach out to people we’d barely notice otherwise.
Finally, in Luke 7 we read that Jesus encounters a funeral procession as He reaches a town called Nain. Back then, such a sight was normal. Most people wouldn’t have given it a second glance. However, Kyle stresses, eyes-open prayer alters the way we see people in the commonplace moments of life.
First, Jesus saw the widow. Second, His heart went out to her. Thus, a connection existed between what His eyes saw and His heart saw. Also, Jesus gave the widow back her son – and He gave the woman back her hope.
Today’s question: How do you see compassion as the antidote to our indifference? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “First responders or concerned bystanders?”