Cultivating a passion for compassion

To the word… shall we? Luke 7:11-16: “It came to pass the day after, that he went into a city called Nain; and many of his disciples went with him, and much people (a large crowd). Now when he came nigh to the gate of the city, behold, there was a dead man carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow: and much people (large crowd) of the city was with her.

And when the Lord SAW her, HE HAD COMPASSION ON HER, and said unto her, Weep not.  And he came and TOUCHED the bier  (open coffin): and they that bare him  (carried the coffin)  STOOD STILL.

And he said, Young man, I say unto thee, Arise. And he that WAS dead SAT UP, and began to speak. And he (Jesus) delivered him to his mother.

And there came a fear on all (fear seized them all): and they glorified God, saying, That a great prophet has RISEN among us; and that GOD HATH VISITED HIS PEOPLE.” 

I know the look of this writing format is not the greatest but it is kinda tricky to say it in my head and expect everyone to read it with the points I would so stress vocally… so we instead get this big bold words to hit the preferred points.

Going be, hopefully ‘talking’ about compassion or rather the lack thereof. I will admit I get very angry, very easily with the stories of people who do things that are just so mean and sometimes hearing peoples thoughts, takes, and advice in dealing with everything from children to pets and sometimes I just want to scream, “WHAT is wrong with you people?!” 

I still think the “wrong” part is what helped usher in the falling away of the church, especially taught in the old days, teaching against women and that everyone and everything was to be brought “into submission” through hitting and brow beating, that church shaming keep the flock in check, when actually it ran them out, and the Bible teaches us that love “discreetly” covers matters.

The old school-house rules of teachers actually calling bullied kids “tattle-tales” instead of defending them. So it is not to be a shock that people who “grow up” under these teaching and in homes with these thoughts often (NOT ALWAYS) cling to those same destructive mentality as adults.

Doubt it? Well how babies do you think are born as white supremacists, or born  with any other natural inclination to hatred and violence, or to hold any other poisonous prejudiced belief.  NONE, we are created completely equal, with no hate, or distrust toward anyone.

Infants do not even have to capacity to hate. Anger itself is supposed to be three to six months of age and shame around thirty-six months, but hatred is its own monster and usually it is taught or birthed from a neglectful, abusive environment.

So if a person has never been taught love, compassion, and mercy how can we expect them to show it? And it is so easy for us to give into our own hatred and disgust (which IS still wrong, I fully admit I wrestle with it in many instances) because we can’t understand how people can not see that there is a better way. Compassion which is one the most precious attributes of the Lord, among his innumerable is the most often overlooked, and avoided of them all. So much with hell and brimstone, which I also preach, and do not feel is preached nearly enough,  but it has to be in context with the conviction spirit drawing people, convicting them of their need of salvation.

Only God can bring true conviction, saving conviction, conviction that will bring change as he himself cautioned all to “TURN from their WICKED ways”.

ALL of us who are truly of the body of Christ have felt that conviction, we were made fully aware of our ways and how truly wicked and sinful our lives had been, that is what gets through to us.

We can never do that, we don’t “get people saved” we can make people feel shame, fear, guilt, (which is again, all WRONG) and try to “get them saved” and only make them feel like dirt and view us as “judgy” hypocrites, causing them to run even farther away…which is what brought us to this post!

People can only be told so many times that what they say is sinful, what they think is sinful, what they wear… AGAIN sinful before they just finally give up.

What we THE WORLD needs is compassion, we NEED a revival of compassion. I have said this before and probably will again, but the most missed point of all time has been COMPASSION, Jesus IS compassion and I love the story from Luke, because NO ONE had to ask him to do this, NO ONE told him about this lady or her son, of course being God, I am sure He knew, but for our recorded information NO ONE else brought this to his attention. We are told that he SAW her, he SAW her pain, he SAW that this was her only child, he SAW her widowhood and being God, He SEES it all.

And he had COMPASSION, which literally means a mixture of love and sorrow for the plight of another, suffering that feeling WITH them. And that is what we miss and the world misses.

When we see each other hurting, even someone we don’t know well, or even at all, as Christians, that compassion Jesus had SHOULD rise up in us also, just as the man in our verse ROSE and just as Jesus ROSE in victory.

Compassion has the power to do that. COMPASSION is the love and mercy of God coming into a dark situation and RAISING UP a completely different standard and changing the outcome for all concerned.

And just as hatred is taught, compassion can be taught also, when you offer others a “different” way of dealing with something that see as a problem and others can learn compassion from how you treat them. It is part of being that light Jesus left us to be and why he gave us these wonderful teachings:

Luke 6:31-37: “And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also them likewise. For if ye love ONLY them that love you, what thank (credit) have ye? for SINNERS also love those that love those that love them.

And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank (credit) have ye? for SINNERS also do even the same. And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank (credit) have ye? for SINNERS also lend to SINNERS, to receive as much again.

But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again (in return); and your reward shall be great, and YE SHALL BE THE CHILDREN OF THE HIGHEST: FOR HE IS KIND UNTO THE UNTHANKFUL AND TO THE EVIL.

BE YE THEREFORE MERCIFUL, AS YOUR FATHER ALSO IS MERCIFUL. Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive and ye shall be forgiven.”

And we know exactly WHO is speaking to here, he differentiated “the church” from “the sinners” so we would have no doubt who he was speaking to. He is speaking to us, his entire “church” and as he pointed out THE traits and actions are what proves us as his children!

And He IS merciful, and He IS kind and in being those things it CHANGES hearts. Back to the innocence babies, when a child has never been shown compassion or taught compassion, or raised with half-truths, never taught tenderness, gentleness, or mercy they can not be expected to just spontaneously produce these traits.

At some point the Lord has to have it shown to them, thus teaching that better way. And with everything we learn, it requires time, patience, and two willing hearts, one giving and one receiving and there is nothing greater we can give than the love of Christ and nothing greater we can show aside his enduring, endless mercy, as the Bible tells us “His compassions faileth not” meaning his compassion is never-ending. 

And he EXPECTS us to be a reflective of himself, we NEED to start checking that reflection and if we find that we are lacking, we need to pray for his compassion, and mercy to RISE inside of us. 

Pray that he would give us spiritual eyes to see what he wants us to see in others.

Pray that he would give us spiritual ears to hear the very cry of wounded souls that are often hidden behind outwardly angry appearances.

Pray that our spiritual hearts are open to his leading and prompting by his Holy Spirit to minister to those needs and show us the time to give that ministration when it would be received.

Pray that the compassion of this world would be stirred, that the spirit of love, mercy, and meekness would take hold of hearts thought to be so cold they would never warm.

Pray that those cold stones learn a better way and then, my friend, that love will spread and that love will save!

Would you be interested to know the MEANING of Nain, which was the name of the city Jesus ENTERED into and RESURRECTED the widow’s son? 

Nain means BEAUTIFUL PLEASANTNESS!!!  Now don’t you want others to also know that through mercy and compassion, we are INVITED to ENTER into that BEAUTIFUL PLEASANTNESS with him?!!!

Cover yourself in it! Wear it for the whole world to see!

Colossians 3:12-16: “PUT ON therefore, AS THE ELECT OF GOD, HOLY AND BELOVED, BOWELS (tender mercies) OF MERCIES, KINDNESS, HUMBLENESS OF MIND, MEEKNESS, AND LONGSUFFERING;

Forbearing (bearing with) one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.

And ABOVE ALL THESE THINGS , PUT ON CHARITY, (love)  WHICH IS THE BOND OF PERFECTNESS. And LET the PEACE of GOD RULE YOUR HEARTS, to which also ye are called in one body and BE YE THANKFUL.

Let the WORD of Christ DWELL in you richly in ALL wisdom; TEACHING and ADMONISHING (warn gently) ONE ANOTHER…”

Thanks for reading! Love and peace to you and yours this upcoming week!  God bless you!

Εξυπνιζω Φλογιζω Σαλπιζω NB 2018

Love this song, still moves me to tears, beautiful, beautiful lyrics!

 

 

 

PARKING LOT PERPLEXITY- PONDERING PERCEPTION

I spend an unnatural amount of time in the parking lot of a local store.
That sounds like some kind of bizarre plea for help doesn’t it?
“Hi, I’m Nina and I like to spend my free time in this parking lot”!
Wouldn’t make me too many new friends but I have a really good reason for being outside rather than inside, and since we all have issues, this is one of mine, I could easily play the part of the lady in the commercial, you know the one where she is bowling and this cute little pink thing with big blue eyes keeps trying to drag her off to the restroom, finally she angrily declares “No! I am seeing my doctor!”.
Well, me and my bladder just hang out rather than suffer the nuisance and annoyance of having to find a restroom every three hundred feet.
That is my personal secret revealed for the day.
 Disturbing? Probably! Too much information? Surely! Needed to be divulged in order to write this post? Most definitely!
I had to tell you that so that you wouldn’t think I am just all kinds of weird (those who know me are now falling over laughing hysterically thinking BUT YOU ARE WEIRD!)
That point aside. I have learned a lot sitting there and watching shoppers and I always think about them and what their life is like and if they look weary, tired, or hurting, I always say a little prayer for them.
 I watch people interact with their kids and I watch the elderly go in and I wonder do they have enough food money.
And amazingly enough the majority of my posts have been birthed there, most of my series titles and scriptures have been jotted down while sitting in that parking lot and the death of “Eagle” hit me there and I sat and cried scribbling it all down as my family returned to try to understand why on earth I was crying.
So I think I have a special kind relationship with that place and the most astounding thought that I have taken from it is this, WE AS HUMANS, AS A MAJORITY SUFFER FROM THE TOTAL LACK OF PERCEPTION!
My view varies based on parking, and across the street in one direction is what was once upon a more prosperous time THE motel of the town, it has since became not quite so much so.
I think it is mainly rented out as housing and often I watch those that live there come and go from the grocery store.
One evening a couple had just came out and were trying to cross the road they were dressed very modestly and NO ONE would stop to offer them to cross the road and the more I watched, I could only think that maybe if they were dressed to the nines or in fine clothing, or were well-known people, like I don’t know a mayor, or doctor or someone of the sort, people would be glad to let them cross, but no, drivers felt it not worth their time to show kindness to this couple.
The other side facing the store, right in front of it, I have had the grandest of all pondering.
There is a local man,seen by many, but I am sure known by few if any.
He is for the most part mute, he is so sweet and the kindness oozes out of him, he is an older man and lives in an assisted living home just a tad to the side of the grocery, and he can communicate IF you are willing to listen with your HEART and not depend so much on ears.
So Me and Pinky, (the cartoon bladder) are once again sitting there ( because I had determined I AM NOT going to the bathroom AGAIN ) and the sweet man is out there and we wave at each other and he flashes me that sweet smile and there are several shopping carts haphazardly left here and there on the walk, so he gets them one by one and takes them back in the store and puts them in their place, he comes back and picks up some loose trash and throws it away, he then steps just inside the store to a little rack where I am so sure are the “Thrifty Nickel” or something to that effect, it is little papers that people run ads for anything imaginable to sale, I think they are actually free BUT if not some witty, knowledgeable store employee SHOULD KNOW THE PRICE ( but I guess that depends on who is trying to ask! )
He holds it up and shows it to a bag boy, who just looks zombified at the paper, as if it is a mysterious sphere floating down before him and shrugs and walks off, then the man turns to a cashier, who is obviously also brain-dead to the universal code language
 ( HELLO if you are holding it up, you want to know the price) and she brushes him off also, and he just puts it down, that beautiful smile has now faded and he walks silently away to the place he calls home.
So between pinky pulling my arm and these two geniuses I am growing a wee angry.
 Curlylocks is still outside after having ran away to avoid the man’s unspoken question,( never bothering to notice that the carts had been taken care of for HIM ) so I call him to my window and as gently and clearly as possible I said “He is asking you how much that paper is.” 
Curlylocks looks at me, by this point I have come to believe the dude may not really be a bag boy but is actually zombie doing a rather bad impersonation of a bag boy, he just says”Umm, I don’t know” and I just say “Okay” . 
By this point, I really kinda wanted to slap him upside his head and say “You know Sonny, you ain’t through living and one day that might just be you!”
Then I wanted to slap my own self! Why did I not just drag pinky out of the vehicle, tell the sweet man to hold on one minute, go buy the paper, give to him! I COULD HAVE DONE THAT!!!!
So now we have three geniuses! What is wrong with us as a society?
Why can we not hear what others are saying, even if they have no words?
Why do we hold to the old cop-out that if they needed anything THEY would ask, if they had a problem they would tell someone.
Why do we not listen with our hearts and be led by the spirit? When we look someone in the eye and that little tug inside of us tells us they have a need, why do we not ask? 
Why do we not care? Why will not go even an inch outside our zone to help another person?
How many chances have been missed to impact a life other than our own?
This did not happen in a parking lot but I have pondered it more than once, because it leaps to mind when I think of these things, so it belongs here.
My family has a friend that grew up with my parents, she is a wonderful woman and has dedicated her life to two people, Jesus, and raising her little grand-daughter, she is in her seventies and she called one evening and needed help, her back was hurting really badly and thought it was caused by her stomach, so me and my Dad took her to the ER, she was left for hours in a freezing cold room, when we did go back to see her, she said she was freezing so I asked for a blanket for her (which should have been offered ) and she told us that she had a broken back.
She had been doing yard work that week and had somehow slipped or something and didn’t think much of it but had actually broken her back.
She told me she needed to go the restroom and had mentioned that the nurses had been really rude to her, so I told her I’d go get someone.
Now this is around five in the morning, we had been there all night, ( They are in process of transferring her to another hospital better equipped for her injury) so I go to the desk, there’s the doctor and three of four nurses sitting around and I ask could someone please come help her to the bathroom, This young nurse just looks at me and says “Well, I’ve took her several times” (Yeah, there is obviously a limit on times one may need to go) I said “Well, she needs to go”  she just looks at the doctor and rolls her eyes and he said “Take her” she gets up, her nasty little attitude plain to see and I said “You do know that HER BACK IS BROKEN don’t you?”
She just looks at me and like nothing and almost smugly says “Yeah, I know” and it took everything in me not to say “Well, here’s the deal, one day this is going to come back and bite you so hard in your prissy little butt, one day you will be in her shoes.” 
But as a child of the Lord’s, I held my peace but it was hard, she was so smug, so smirky, so absolutely uncaring and cold that I truly would not want to be in her shoes, if that is how she chooses to treat wounded people she should have never became a nurse, she should not be allowed to care for a rock.
But it does beg the question, what happened to us? When did we grow so insensitive, so lacking as a society?
Well, I am sure it happened as we fell as a nation from the grace of God and without his presence and guidance THAT IS what happens to society and it is the biblical fulfillment of what is to become of people.
“Without natural affection”, lacking any common decency or courtesy, much less compassion toward our fellow human.
BUT more so as Christians we ARE to be the LIGHT in the darkness.
WE are to shine into this world and be different and to do that and to not fall victim to the infectious lack of caring and love growing cold, we must be aware of what is inside of us.
Jesus IS the master of perception! And of course HE IS WHO HE IS but as his children WE CAN PRAY for HIS PERCEPTION to be awake and alive in us.
People really didn’t have to tell him much,when he walked this earth he was so in tune to people he took it straight to the heart, he didn’t make them pour out their secrets, or wait till they begged for help, he addressed the problem and assured help was on the spot.
More often the people who need help the most are the ones who are LEAST likely to ask.
NO ONE WANTS TO FEEL EMBARRASSED  and shame has NO PLACE but satan sends it and if you are lead of God to help in a charitable way, keep it secret! 
AS much as you possibly can, again because NO ONE wants to feel embarrassed and calling attention to their plight and what you did to help will only embarrass them and make them feel worse than they would have if you had left them alone.
“Take heed that ye do not your alms (charitable deeds) before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.
Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee as thee hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men, Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.”          Matthew 6:1,2
So we never want to come off that way! Here’s what we want:
“But when thou doest thine alms, LET NOT THY LEFT HAND KNOW WHAT THY RIGHT HAND DOETH: that thine alms MAY BE IN SECRET: and THE FATHER SEETH IN SECRET HIMSELF SHALL REWARD THEE OPENLY”   Matthew 6:3,4
“Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask not again.
And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.
For if ye love them which love you, what thank (credit) have ye?
for sinners also do even the same.
And if you do good to them which do good to you, what thank (credit) have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, TO RECEIVE AS MUCH AGAIN.                 Luke 6:30-34
“Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father  also IS merciful.”
“GIVE, and it SHALL BE GIVEN UNTO YOU; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give unto your bosom. FOR WITH THE SAME MEASURE THAT YE METE (use)  withal it will be measured BACK UNTO YOU again.”                               Luke 6:36,38
So lets all do better, let’s make eye contact, pray for that perception and TAKE CHANCES and ASK when we feel someone has a need and remember this isn’t always about money, it can be many things, even just someone who will listen for a moment and a little help getting something off a store shelf.
And if they say “No, Thanks” what have you lost???? You have offered and God is still very pleased with that!
 But let’s please not continue to look through people as if they aren’t even there and never, ever over them, like what happened with the sweet man, when his disability was such a burden to others that they would not even TRY to understand him, and someone other than you and me sees it.

He sees it all, so let’s make sure what he sees is us being the best we can be.
Φλογιζω/ All rights reserved/ NBJ 2015