«But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him?» (1 John 3:17).
TEN-YEAR-OLD TRAVIS SELINKA was distraught after the seven weeks of radiation that had followed the operation in which a brain tumor had been removed. His worry was not knowing how his classmates would react when they saw him without any hair. Would they laugh at him? Would he be able to find friends to play with? Would he be rejected?
Tie dreaded day came. Travis put on his hat, got out of the car, went to his classroom, opened the door and none of his classmates had hair!! As he saw those fifteen kids with bald heads, he did not need any words: he understood everything, just like his classmates had understood it as well. While Travis had been racking his brains about his first day back to school, all his classmates had gone to a barbershop to shave their heads bald.
«I can’t believe they did this for me,» Travis confessed; «knowing I have friends makes me feel great.» And who would not feel good from such an act of compassion on the part of their peers (friends, classmates, family, church brethren). A gesture of compassion makes a difference.
Jesus’s life was motivated by compassion. He wept out of compassion; He healed the sick, resurrected the dead, fed the multitudes, taught the truths of the kingdom of heaven with very simple words, and let Himself be imprisoned and judged unfairly out of compassion. Out of compassion He decided to become one of us so we could have salvation within our reach.
When Jesus was asked what was the greatest commandment of all was, He responded in a wonderful way:” ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets» (Matthew 22:37-40). That is the compassion to which we are called: a compassion not as it is interpreted today, derived from a feeling of superiority, but a compassion derived from love for God and love for our neighbor. To live like this is to keep the greatest commandment.
«Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering» (Colossians 3:12).