It’s difficult to experience unexpected loss. Loss through sickness, loss through fatal accidents and loss through tragic events all have a different sting. We hear of tragedy in other cities, other states, other communities and we often don’t think it will happen in our town, until it does.
Recently tragedy struck my hometown. A life was lost. People witnessed it. It was like out of a bad movie, yet the pain still lingers like a bad dream. Facebook feeds flew with opinions. Social media arguments began to rise. News reports were tuned into and everyone had felt what happened. Regardless of the position you chose, pain was felt on both sides.
Reading comment after comment from defensive opinion writers leaves me with questions such as when did we become so heartless? When did we think that it was okay to speak bad about a family who just lost a loved one? When did we decide that humans are disposable? Because someone has mental illness their life is worth less? Because someone has misdemeanors in their past, their life isn’t as important?
We were each uniquely created. And in this life we each make choices, they either need to blessings are consequences. Sometimes when someone chooses a path and they are no longer alive to change course the family is left with the brutal reality of its effects. We as a community may have our differences but this is not the time to see who can stand on the highest box and scream the loudest. This is the time where arms should be extended wider than before. This is the time where I love you should fall from the lips and how can I help should be the most talked about question. We talk about loving Jesus and wanting to be like him yet we wouldn’t be caught dead roughing the politically correct feathers of our inner circle.
My community is divided. Those who are not connected may not understand what it’s like for those who are. Either way, compassion never choose a side. Jesus never judged when he spoke life into those who needed him. Jesus never dangled a rap sheet and his disciples face. Jesus hung out with those the community said not to. Compassion is a gift that we have the power to give. It was Jesus who gave us the most incredible gift, his own life, and a compassionate way in which we did not deserve, so that we could live eternally. How can we possibly repay or represent this compassion to the fullest? I don’t know the answer to that question but my heart wants to spend a lifetime trying to figure it out.
Today I encourage you to do one compassionate thing to someone out of the blue. Ask God who needs a hug today. Ask Jesus to speak to you about who needs an encouraging word. When was the last time you sent a real card in the mail with an actual stamp? Today might be a great day to do that. Pray for your police departments. Pray for your fire departments. Pray for your local gyms and those in the community who are trying to protect serve and make us a healthier place to live. Pray for our community members. Pray for the single moms and dads who struggle every day. Pray for the mentally ill and have compassion for the handicap. Lift up the elderly for they have lived a long life and seen many things. Pray that we can learn one thing from them to make ourselves better. Forgive each other the way Jesus forgives us. Bond tighter. Talk more. Listen more. Spread more love than opinion.
Jesus was real, raw and relevant back then and he still is in our lives today. Stand up! Show compassion and love above all else. Without love, our words and actions are nothing but noise.