Saturday, August 04, 2012
Very important piece.
The compassion of Christ was so infinitely attractive to people because he never dealt with them in a mass, but always with distinct individuals. Nothing hurts our philanthropy so much as the habit of classing men together under certain great divisions, and dealing with all members of a class on the same principle. In this way our finer feelings become deadened. We look at the forest; Christ knows every tree, nay, each branch and twig. We view the crowds as Xerxes did from the eminence of his throne; Christ is familiar with the bitter story of each human life, its tragedy and comedy, its hope and fear, its temptations and burdens, down sittings and uprisings.
We read in the newspapers that eight or ten thousand men have fallen in a single battle, but Christ knows how each man fell, the havoc the news brought into the home circle, and the bitter tears for one whose step would never be heard returning along the garden path. The woman that was a sinner, Nicodemus, Zacchaeus, were all distinct subjects of his thought.
The fountains of compassion would begin to rise in each heart, if we would begin to individualize the need of men, thinking not of the lame, but of the one lame man; not of the blind, but of one sunless face; not of the dumb, but of the one man whose tongue was locked; not of the flock, but of the one sheep which has wondered from the fold, and is in danger. Remember that the one lost sheep attracted the Shepherd, the one lost money-piece incited the woman's search, the one lost child returning, filled the father's home with mirth. F.B. Meyer.
I think this piece contains some of the best advice I have ever read. If you have no heart for missions; or care not for the plight of the homeless; if you are able to put out of your mind the oppressed; the hungry, naked, in prison, thirsty and hungry, this is the reason. It is not personal. We must investigate human suffering; expose ourselves to the needs of others, one person at a time, if we will ever find our hearts pouring out. To be a cheerful giver we must know someones plight to whom we are moved by God's compassion to care for, to love. Then we will want to give, and will be willing to sacrifice for their well being; we will become a cheerful giver. When we individualize, we sense a Godly bond and we will truly be blessed in our mourning for them. Christ censures those that He never knew. "Lord, when did I ever see you????" We must be personally involved to ever see Him in the poor.
Painting by Sienna van Rossum