When I was 16 my life was changed while on a three-week mission’s trip at a Mexican orphanage.
One night, I sat with a young girl and we watched the Jesus film play on the back of a van. Her dress was ripped and worn and it was hard to ignore the thick smell of smoke and dirt. I was struck with the realization that after this evening I would never see this little girl again.
What made leaving more difficult was she did not know Jesus. She didn’t know how much He loved her. Before leaving that night, I shared the Gospel with her, explaining how Jesus died for us because He loves us. Without knowing the impact this would have on her life, I slipped the bracelet I was wearing around her small wrist, hoping she would always remember our conversation.
My eyes filled with tears as we left. Compassion for the people I had met overwhelmed me. And I was compelled to pray as we drove away, for this little girl’s salvation. I recognized this was a prompting from the Holy Spirit.
Second Corinthians 1:2-5 refers to God as “the Father of compassion” (NIV). Jesus’ actions on earth are our greatest example of compassion because they reveal the heart of God to us. Christ died for us to give us eternal life. How can we not show grace and compassion to others knowing this? Compassion is a direct result of accepting Christ into our hearts.
Being a Christian my whole life, I’ve heard it over and over how we are to act, think and feel as Christians. It was on my mission’s trip I realized my own undeserved acceptance by God, which stirred a deeper understanding of compassion within me.
If I can share one more thought, it would be to follow God’s example. He didn’t just feel compassion for you and me. He sent His one and only Son. I’m overwhelmed when I think about the possibilities in my own life to show compassion to others.