Compassion can be messy

Compassion is a theme in the gospels. Jesus had compassion (Matt. 9:36, Matt 14:14, Mark 1:41, Mark 6:34, Luke 7:13, Luke 10:33) and said “be compassionate, just as your Father is compassionate.” Luke 6:36.

It’s really easy to figure out how our troubles, or someone else’s, are a result of poor choices . Compassion is seldom convenient and frequently misinterpreted. Somehow compassion can be associated with excusing, endorsing, or enabling destructive behavior, but compassion is a restorative rather than a punitive reaction. Crawling out of a bad patch is messy for the person crawling out and for the compassionate people helping and supporting that person. Compassion is a core motivation in God’s interactions with us and a healing force in our interactions with one another.

Lord, hold my arms out and open when I feel the impulse to cross them and judge.