“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort,
who comforts us in all our troubles,
so that we can comfort those in any trouble
with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.”
2 Corinthians 1:3-4 (NIV)
Good intentions can easily be mistaken by people who are suffering. The expression, “I don’t want your pity” is sometimes spoken in frustration by a person in pain to someone who offers sympathy.
People who suffer find sympathy annoying as it does not help remove the reason for suffering and it seems to belittle them. What is really wanted at such times is to remove the source of the problem and nothing less will do.
Telling someone you are sorry their loved one died will not bring the person back from the dead, nor will sympathy from someone help you get a new job if that is what you need. This is the way some people who suffer think.
Someone who is compassionate has the same emotional response to the situation as the person who is in the middle of the problem. Often they have suffered the same way as the individual they speak with.
Things the compassionate person does includes such actions as holding the suffering person’s hand, giving them a hug, putting an arm around the individual’s shoulder, weeping with the sorrowful person, and other visible expressions of grief and affection.
I visited Bill in hospital one day. He was in the final stages of dying from AIDS. During the time I was in his room I sat by his bed so our faces were on the same level and I held his hand. He seemed greatly comforted by me holding his hand. Many uninformed people will refuse any physical contact with someone with that particular disease.
He commented that I was a very compassionate person. What I did was simply what our compassionate, merciful God does for those who seek Him. He is gentle and tender of heart in the presence of pain of any kind. As we see Him in the actions of His Son Jesus, we witness great tenderness with the sick, the dying, and the bereaved.
Jesus would touch lepers and no one in His day would do that because the person with that disease was considered full of infection and was contagious (Matthew 8:1-3). Jesus also allowed very sinful people to touch Him (Luke 7:36-50). Jesus also wept with those who wept (John 11:33-36).
Will you bring your broken heart to Jesus today and ask for the compassion He is so willing to give? Jesus is full of tenderness and love. Do not bear your burden alone for another day. Come to Him and come today.