Operating with Compassion

I started reading this book called “Love Walked Among Us: Learning to Love Like Jesus” by Paul E. Miller. He also wrote another book I am currently reading, “A Praying Life: Connecting with God in a Distracting World” which introduced me to his books (easily readable, heavily challenging, encouragingly applicable). In the 1st chapter of “Love Walked”, he talks about how love looks and acts. His example is from Luke 7:11-17:

Soon afterward he went to a town called Nain, and his disciples and a great crowd went with him. As he drew near to the gate of the town, behold, a man who had died was being carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow, and a considerable crowd from the town was with her. And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her and said to her, “Do not weep.” Then he came up and touched the bier, and the bearers stood still. And he said, “Young man, I say to you, arise.” And the dead man sat up and began to speak, and Jesus gave him to his mother. Fear seized them all, and they glorified God, saying, “A great prophet has arisen among us!” and “God has visited his people!” And this report about him spread through the whole of Judea and all the surrounding country.

In the chapter, Miller focuses on Jesus’ compassion. I looked up compassion, which is defined as ‘a deep awareness of, and sympathy for, another’s suffering’. In discussing the miracle of Jesus bringing the son back to life, Miller says:

But Jesus’ eye is on the widow… He’s not thinking about Himself and how He can benefit from this amazing display of power. He isn’t distracted by His own miracle – He remembers the person. He cares for both the son’s physical need and the mother’s emotional need.

Jesus possesses both tenderness and power. Usually tender people lack strength and strong people lack gentleness. But Jesus shows both goodness and strength.

He ends the chapter with, “Look, feel, and help”, stating that help without looking and feeling demonstrates a love that is cold, while looking and feeling without helping demonstrates a love that is cheap.

It made me think of the Gospel along these lines – Look, feel, and help.

Jesus looked upon us and our sinful state. As a man, He felt what it was like, knew what it was like, to be what we are (yet He was without sin!). And He helped / acted (helped seems far too weak a word!) by dying on the cross so that He took on our sins and so that we who believe would receive His righteousness (2 Cor. 5:21).

I just felt the desire to share this. I pray this encourages us as we continue learning how to love.

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3 thoughts on “Operating with Compassion

  1. Sweet... says:

    I’m not sure how I found your page or if someone directed me to it, but I enjoy your encouraging comments and thoughts. Jenn, continue following the only One who truly love you.

  2. Nicole says:

    wow…that was convicting.. in urban ministry and as a parent I often Look, and Help, and forget to be compassionate(feel). This reminds me of my selfishness, yet I am hopeful about the LORDS grace that will help me to practice and live out all three.
    Thanks for posting this!

  3. Gloria says:

    We’re covering this in our youth group right now. Great book. Hope all is well with you.

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