Yesterday I had a few short minutes to run home grab a few things and head to our softball game. As I pulled into the driveway I saw a cat sitting in the yard, as the cat turned its head, I saw that the whole side of its cheek had just raw flesh showing. The sight stirred a compassion inside of me and I immediately thought I need to go outside and bring some food out for it, some water, and maybe see if I can get a closer look at the cat. As I came inside I thought well let me grab the things I need, change my clothes, and then I'll head out there to take care of the cat. It took me a few minutes and soon I was out the door, in the car, and no second thought of the cat until I returned home later in the evening. As I pulled into the drive way once again I remembered the cat and I thought about something.
How often in life are we moved to compassion for someone or some cause and it overwhelms us for a time, but soon just as the cat was replaced with my own tasks, my own needs, my own routine of life, the very things God is trying to have us focus on take a backseat. I realized the depth of my selfishness last night. How many people and causes has the Holy Spirit brought to my attention so that I would DO SOMETHING? Whether the doing be daily intercession, financial support, volunteering of time.
It's all too easy to become distracted and focused on ourselves. I can't count the amount of times God has had to REBREAK my heart to be moved to compassion for the poor, the widow, the orphan, the misled teenager, the human trafficked. It is important to cry out God break my heart for what break yours, help me focus on what you want me to focus on, rather than the issues of my own life. Rid me of pride and selfishness, move me to compassion that is lasting, love that is never failing.
It reminds me of a song by brooke frasier titled, "albertine". She recounts going to Rwanda and seeing the orphaned, hungry, and broken. She says, "now that I have seen I am responsible". As God makes us aware of the orphans in Africa or our own backyard, the poor, the broken, the lonely, the misguided, the used, the addicted, the abused... we become responsible to them and we have a choice to make. We can be like the good samaritan who stops and takes responsibility for what he sees even at his own cost (your time, your money, your prayers, your heart) or we can be like the priest and levite who see or hear and continue on, unwilling to be burdened, unwilling to sacrifice, or simply unwilling to think about anyone else's problems but our own.
I realize that for the rest of my life God will be reminding me to be moved to compassion like Jesus was because there is a hurting world around me. My prayer is that I will not be moved for a moment, but moved for a lifetime. My prayer is that I will seek God on how He desires me to address the ones I am aware of. If nothing less to be reminded that I am responsible to ever be interceding on their behalf.
Let's be doers of the Word and not hearers only. Let's not be compassionate for moments, but for lifetimes. Let's not look in the mirror and immediately forget our reflection. What a shame to drive down the road and see the hurting and turn our backs as though there was nothing we can do. What a shame to travel to other countries to be broken by their struggles, but come back to America and forget all about them. I'm crying out for lasting change, lasting impact.
Be Blessed, J. Tate