Peripheral Compassion

I love people and I love serving people. But I have a hard time seeing the needs of others unless that need is right in front of me. You see if someone was to walk up to me and say, “hey I need a ride downtown” or “I need someone to help me talk my grandmother to the doctor,” then I would serve with no hesitation. But it is hard to see past all that is going on in front of you and also focus on what is going on beside you, behind you, etc.

For me I can get so “busy” concentrating on whatever I am doing that I can ignore everything else going on around me. But not Jesus. Jesus had this amazing ability to see things no one else paid attention to; to be in a crowd of people and sense the need of a single person who needed him, who wanted to be healed by him.

Think about the story of the woman who had been bleeding for years. Jesus is in the midst of a huge crowd that is pressing up against him. They all want something from Jesus. Besides that, Jesus is on his way to help a fathers sick son who could die at any minute. But in the midst of everything going on, Jesus notices that someone needs him; he notices that someone has touched him. So he stops everything he is doing and tends to the immediate needs of this hurting woman. And in that instance he heals her and sets her free. To many, including his apostles, this was just another woman in the crowd. But to Jesus she was a divine appointment. He saw an opportunity to help one person, to meet her need and give her hope.

Jesus spent his life looking for opportunities to turn his love for people into action. Jesus had compassion for people. He wanted to help them, he wanted to heal them, he wanted to give them hope and set them free. And because of this desire Jesus saw things that no one else saw. He saw the things that were, not just in front of him, but beside him, behind him and beyond. I guess you could say that Jesus had “peripheral compassion”!

For us, it is all about seeing the world with the same compassionate eyes Jesus did. In our work place, in our relationships, in our social networks. In everything we do, it is having the ability to not just see what is right in front of us, but what is all around us. It is all about seeing past the crowd and seeing the one. It is about taking the time to help the one, even if it delays helping the other. It is about giving people hope, giving them freedom, showing them love.

It is all about having “Peripheral Compassion”!

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