Sunday, August 5, 2012

Compassion is Costly

Litany of Reconciliation
St. Paul's Cathedral in Kolkata, India

"All have sinned and come short of the glory of God" - Romans

The hatred which divides nation from nation, race from race, class from class
Father Forgive 
The covetous desires of men and nations to possess what is not their own
Father Forgive
The greed which exploits the labours of men, and lays waste the earth
Father Forgive
Our envy of the welfare and happiness of others
Father Forgive
Our indifference to the plight of the homeless and refuge
Father Forgive
The lust which uses for ignoble ends the bodies of men and women
Father Forgive 
The pride which leads us to trust in ourselves and not in God
Father Forgive

St. Paul's Cathedral
1 Corinthians struck me this morning:

"But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God...If anyone among you thinks that he is wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise." - 1 Corinthians 27-29, 18

Then I heard a beautiful sermon on the story of the good Samaritan.

"Compassion," said Pastor Sam Johnson, "does more than pray, more than analyze, more than write articles. Compassion does something. Compassion is practical and meets people where they are. Compassion is practical, universal, and costly... it COSTS something...We can't boast about what we've done, the programs we've made, the people we've fed, until every person in the world has heard about Jesus! God is not impressed with anything we have: our home, our car, our intellect. Mother Teresa is not remembered for her beauty, her intelligence, her house, her riches. She is known, around the world, for her compassion."

My email Daily Devotional today was about forgiveness.  Compassion and forgiveness have been the themes of my thoughts the past few days.  At church yesterday the lady behind the podium asked us, "Who do you need to forgive?" At first I thought there wasn't really anyone. I was good with everyone as far as I knew. But then I asked God about it: Who am I harboring anger or bitterness against? Who has wronged me? And the answer came to mind--Indian men, the men who walk by me and stare, the men who walk close to me so they can rub up against me, the men who ask me to take pictures with them even though I have never seen them before in my life, the men who follow my friends and I calling out to us, the men who cheat me because I'm a foreigner.  Lord, help me forgive. Change my heart toward the culture, toward the men of this culture. Help me to understand how to deal with this. Help me to look at them with eyes of compassion, with Your eyes, Lord.

The above pictures are from Victoria Memorial. I would give you the history of the building, but I have no idea what the history is. I know it has beautiful grounds full of Indian families who only had to pay 4 rupees to get in while I was expected to pay 150 rupees. This is also where men walked up to me and asked me to take pictures with them and their families, and where I got sunburned. I really shouldn't be bitter about any of that, but some days it gets to me worse than others. Today the honking horns, the crazy traffic, the imposing men, the poverty, the street kids...everything got to me. I came home after the day out and laid in bed for three hours, just soaking everything in and trying to let it all out.

Keep me in your prayers! Pray for my heart to be changed, for God to humble me, to make me small and foolish enough for Him to use.

You are all also in my prayers. Thank you for your love and intercession. 

1 comment:

  1. The Victoria Memorial was built in memory of Queen Victoria... just that...