The Face of Compassion

Compassionate Presence Brain

In the biblical world, compassion is inherent to God’s essential nature whose first response is to show tender loving care to those who suffer  and loving mercy in the face of betrayal and iniquities.  As exemplified by Christ himself, this inner disposition fuels visible and offers concrete acts of kindness towards those who are vulnerable and in great need (e.g. the shepherding of the crowd, the feeding of the five thousand, and the healing of the blind).  As recipients of God’s compassion the people of God are then called to mirror and embody the same trait of loving care and mercy towards others, a truly remarkable expression of what it means to be a neighbour.  The story of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37) drives that point really well as it is a story of neighborly love that is scandalous in its inclusivity, outrageous in its display of concern, and radical in its generosity.   It serves as an icon of compassion in which the fullness of neighborly love fills the depth of the suffering and pain of another.