I’ve been thinking a lot lately (I know, I know. Evidence points to the contrary). I’ve just been feeling so blessed. Blessed with a healthy relationship, with a good job, with great friends, an affordable place to live.
Blessed with so much.
And then I was talking with Jenny the other night and the thought popped into my head
–what had I done to deserve this?
Why should I be blessed, when so many other people–some of whom I even know–are beset on all sides by tragedy, and trials?
I think the answer is that I shouldn’t be blessed. Probably none of us should. Because
“no one is worthy, no not one….”
So why me?
I think I can answer that in a single word:
Compassion. God has compassion for me.
I used to hear that word and I would think of Sally Struthers, trying to raise money for hungry African children. I would think of missionaries. I would think of Mother Theresa, and others like her. I would think of kindness. I would think of people in Soup Kitchens and other missions across the country and the world. I would think of nice people, doing nice things, for good motives.
But I would never really think about what the word meant, really meant. I never even looked it up, because I thought I knew. And then I was listening to this Brennan Manning sermon. And one of the things he brought up was the Greek word for compassion,
It’s not such a kind and gentle translation.
“It is usually translated “to have compassion or pity”, but these are only approximate translations. Splagchnizomai literally means a movement in the bowels (in the sense of the innermost parts). Karl Barth comments, “The term obviously defies adequate translation. What it means is that the suffering and sin and abandonment and peril of these men not merely went to the heart of Jesus but right into His heart, into Himself, so that their whole plight was now His own, and as such He saw and suffered it far more keenly than they did. esplagcnisyh means that
He took their misery upon Himself, taking it away from them and making it His own.(emphasis added)”
Jesus did not just sympathetically identify with the pain of others, he actually, empathetically, experienced their pain and sickness as His own. Their pain became his pain. Jesus did not heal them with an act of almighty power. He healed them by taking their sickness from them and into Himself.”
That, my friends, is compassion.
And then I think of John 3:16. “For God so loved the world.”
And then I think of Jesus weeping over Jerusalem, and over us.
And then I think of a exhausted, horribly injured, bleeding, thirsty, and dying man walking up a hill with a large beam of wood across his shoulders because of love.
And then I know why me?
Love is why me.
Love is why I’m blessed, and why I do my best to be faithful.