An Act of Compassion

Since you have been chosen by God who has given you this new kind of life, and because of his deep love and concern for you, you should practice tenderhearted mercy and kindness to others. Don't worry about making a good impression on them but be ready to suffer quietly and patiently. Be gentle and ready to forgive, never hold grudges. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.

Most of all, let love guide your life, for then the whole church will stay together in perfect harmony. Let the peace of heart which comes from Christ be always present in your hearts and lives, for this is your responsibility and privilege as members of his body. And always be thankful! Colossians 3:12-15 (TLB)

Lisa Scallio lives in Maryland. Seventeen years ago, her son was sentenced to life in prison. It was a time of grief for many reasons and for so many people. As the courtroom emptied after the sentencing, a man approached Lisa. She recognized him as the one who had carried his Bible to court every day - the victim's father. Standing quietly, looking into his face and not knowing what to expect, Lisa was surprised when suddenly he said to her, "I am sorry for your loss." In the midst of the most devastating event in her life, God had placed before her this gentle man - in mourning himself - to express his compassion and sorrow.

This man had shown Lisa the kindest act of Christian compassion that she had ever witnessed. In one brief moment, through him, God took her grief away and showed her a picture of the compassion and love of a true follower of our Savior Jesus Christ.

Most of us have been victims at one time or another. What was your reaction? We can always choose our response to being hurt or victimized. We can be angry and vengeful; or we can be like this father, who in the midst of his own grief, was able to reach out to someone else with compassion; just like God, our heavenly Father, reaching out to us with his love and compassion.

Prayer: Compassionate God, thank you for the people who show others your blessings, mercy, and grace, even when they are in the midst of suffering themselves, in Jesus' name, amen.

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