The Bridge – May 27, 2009
Posted on May 27, 2009 by under Outreach and Missions,

Compassion”

I have been preparing for Common Ground’s summer at my house (Did you know Common Ground will be meeting at the Mast’s – 461 Noxon Road- at 4:00 p.m. every Sunday this summer beginning on May 31st?) by reading about the Desert Fathers.  These were men living in the deserts of Egypt around 300 A.D. searching for a life that glorified Christ (yeah, my wife thinks I am a little strange, too!).  Recently I read something that might just change my life.  One of these Desert Fathers said (and I paraphrase),

“If you focus on the suffering of others it is not possible to dwell on their sin and all you can do is show them compassion.”

First, I have to know a person well enough to see past the masks we all put on to know their suffering (yes, we all suffer).  Second, in that relationship I am moved by their pain and love them all the more.  Third, understanding their pain makes the things they do, to me, understandable at least to the point I don’t care about me and only want to care for them.

I invite you to think about how this might change the world.  I know we might want to talk about consequences to sin and need for justice and the pain someone might cause us.  But what if we didn’t and saw the suffering of even our enemy and responded with compassion.  Now that would change a family, a neighborhood, a church, a state, . . .

I think Common Ground is going to have a wonderful time traveling the desert at the Mast’s house.  Come and join us.

Until Next Week . . . Mark