When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. Mark 6:34
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion. Colossians 3:12
While the heart of the world was breaking, I could not feel the aching.
The verses above are about compassion. The lyric about the heart of the world is from one of my own songs, and it is about a lack of compassion, and I must say that in relation to the present state of the world, it is pretty much how I feel. I feel that, from what I hear and what I read, the heart of the world is truly breaking, but for some reason, this is not touching me very deeply.
They say that on a global scale, one person dies from COVID-19 every minute. That means that while you have been reading this, two or three people will have died and by the time you finish this piece, you can add three or four more to that. And these are deaths we’re talking about. The number of people who get sick is far higher, and I hear that the experience, even if you recover, is no fun — like the flu times ten. But can you feel that? It’s hard, if you don’t know someone who is personally struggling with this. It’s hard to relate to these deaths unless there is an empty seat at your table.
But this is what compassion is — it’s moving someone else’s experience closer to home. This is where you, our Catch community, can help us. Stories like that of Clinton, who told us he opened an early Christmas gift with many memories bubbling up — some good and some twisted — and some recollections better than they actually were. Clinton took us to last year’s memory of his wife committing suicide early in December. We are standing with Clinton and his loss and continued grieving. If everything associated with Christ was merry (and don’t get us wrong – we love merriment) why ever would God place a baby among killers intent on killing small baby boys? It is God’s poetic genius that placed logic and reason up against grace to trump the law with love, and to find redemption in the innocence of a baby born in dirty, spiky hay.
While the heart of the world is breaking, you can be sure that the heart of God is breaking too. And since the heart of God is in us, we can see one another from His perspective; we can take on His compassion. This is how compassion for the people in our Catch community can become real to us and spill over to others, as we operate out of the heart of God.
Yes, the heart of the world is breaking, but so is God’s heart, and as we take on His heart, our hearts will break too.