One of the best indicators that someone has truly embraced a value, belief, instruction, faith tradition or lesson, is the practical impact on the person’s life. For example, how has embracing that value, belief, lesson etc. changed the way the person behaves in certain situations or treats others?
What does ‘compassion mean’? To feel sorry for …? To have sympathy for …? Well, partly yes; but compassion is more than that.
The word compassion has roots in both Greek and Latin. In the Greek, we trace the usage back to the related word for ‘suffering’: pathos. In Latin, we can see the root word cum, meaning ‘with’ and passio, suffering, or patior, I suffer. There is an assumption included in our current usage of the term, that compassion will prompt action. Compassion means, ‘suffering with’.
In the gospels we read on a number of occasions that Jesus ‘had compassion’ on them / him / her and he healed them (Matthew 14.14) or fed them (Matthew 15.32) or taught them (Mark 6.34). Jesus met the needs of people he felt compassion for.
I have been inspired by my own daughter, Faith, who following the tragic death of our neighbour in Teesside to cancer aged 3 years old, became aware of the reality of childhood cancer. One of the things she found most painful, and often the most obvious effect of treatment, was hair loss. As a young girl, Faith realised the effect losing her hair would have on her, and she has decided to have her beautiful long hair cut off. She is going to donate her hair to ‘The Little Princess Trust’ to be made into a wig to, ‘give another child more confidence’ as they struggle with illness. Faith also hopes to raise enough money to cover the cost of providing a wig; she’s raised over £400 already. If you’d like to help go to https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/FaithBrand?utm_id=13.
Mother Teresa said, “We can’t all do great things, but we can all do small things with great love.”
At RENEW Church, we want to be a body of people who don’t just believe the right things, or say the right things, we want to be doers of right things too. I’m blessed that our young people are embracing that core value. You are very welcome to join us on our journey.