"Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep."
— Roman 12:15, KJV
One thing I have noticed over the last couple of years is the lack of compassion people show toward one another. Many of us are self-involved to the point that we do not care about our fellow brothers and sisters who are hurting. We immediately think that if it does not directly or only indirectly involve us a little bit; we do not want any involvement in that particular problem.
That is what has happened over the last couple of years as it pertains to race and diversity relations in America. It is not that people do not want to conform to a "normal" way of society; it is the lack of compassion for those who are different.
The truth is that we are all different. We all have different personalities, ways of life (customs and culture) and pasts. This all determines how we act and respond to certain situations in life.
With all the hostility here recently, the question we are failing to ask is "why?" As people, we attack what we fail to understand, and we fail to understand when do not ask questions to gain understanding.
We have to stop asking question to find another argumentative point, but to gain common ground. Compassion leads us to common ground. It leads us to "mourn with those who mourn" in times like these, and rejoice with those who rejoice when we finally make it to the promise land Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was speaking about.
Instead of being mad at those not standing for the national anthem, ask them "why," and they may use the same words said byArmy veteran Jackie Robinson: "I cannot stand and sing the anthem. I cannot salute the flag; I know that I am a black man in a white world."
Compassion allows you to feel the pain and have a desire to alleviate the pain; not explain the feelings away. You may not be the cause of the problem, the problem may not have anything to do with you, but when you are my brother and sister who mourns with me; I am encouraged.
This is evident in the example of Jesus. Jesus who was going to raise Lazarus from the dead still wept because of his compassion for the community. Jesus, who was God in form of man, had compassion on a sin-filled world. Jesus, who had nothing to do with sin and did not know sin, still had compassion on us. Jesus carried a cross covered in our sins because of his compassion for us.
His compassion allowed him to feel the pain of our sin, and compassion moved upon his heart to do something about it to alleviate the problem. He rose with all power to continue working on our hearts to be filled with the same compassion. Let’s follow Jesus and find the compassion for our brother and sister that will cause us to move on their behalf and alleviate that pain.
Harper is a member of Baconton M.B.C. and the United Ministerial Alliance.