I have three beautiful granddaughters and I love them all dearly, they are indeed a precious gift from the Lord. The youngest is Ruby. Ruby is an absolute force of nature who meets life with an open mind, open heart and open arms; kind, loving and compassionate. Her total enthusiasm for life in all its variety is infectious. It seems to me that she is the embodiment of what Jesus meant when He said in Mark’s Gospel, “Truly I tell you anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it”. (Mark 10:15).

This childlike faith that Jesus is talking about is a faith that believes and trusts implicitly and that is completely focussed on Him for strength and support. A faith that is quick to repent and to forgive and also quick to show unconditional compassion to anyone in need of it. During His ministry on earth Jesus performed amazing miracles and delivered life changing teaching but what He also did was to demonstrate what true compassion for individual, hurting people really looked like and there are many examples in the Gospels.

One perfect example of this is the man blind from birth who, after having had his sight restored by Jesus was thrown out of the Temple by the religious leaders, (John 9:34-35). Now Jesus fully understood the serious implications, both socially and financially, this would have had for this unfortunate man, whose only crime was to have been healed and given his sight back.

So Jesus went to find him, away from the crowds, away from the public gaze; Jesus had compassion for him and in the ensuing conversation Jesus gave this man so much more than just a “sorry for what they have done to you”. He actually told him who He was! The physically restored man would now be spiritually restored too. He was never going to be the same again after that personal, compassion driven, conversation with the King of Kings!

So what is compassion? It literally means to ‘suffer together’ and is defined as the feeling that arises when you are confronted with another’s suffering and feel motivated to relieve that suffering. As the roadmap out of the pandemic takes another step forward today, we will inevitably begin to better understand the true cost of last year and the impact this has had on our community. Compassion, the kind of compassion practiced by Jesus, is what will be needed.

So while we are waiting for all the restrictions to be eased, including singing again in Church, (won’t that be glorious), let’s keep praying and reflecting on how individually and as a community we might bring about lasting, beneficial change, the Kingdom of God kind of change! Now is the time for radical thinking and heartfelt prayer because just doing what we’ve always done in the past is not what is required now. The Lord is starting a ‘new thing’ and we just need to follow His example. ‘When He saw the crowds, He had compassion on them because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd’, (Matthew 9:36).

As I have said before, and will probably say again, now is the time!

May be an image of one or more people and text that says "When He saw the crowds, He had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep withouta shepherd. (Matthew 9:36"