The other day I was talking to someone I have known for a few years.
She ended up telling me something from her past that was so terrible I could not wrap my mind around it. My heart ached and later, when I was alone, the tears spilled. I simply could not comprehend the pain of what had happened to her.
We have spent a lot of time together and I knew a great deal of her story…but not this.
I heard Jesus speak to my heart at that moment (not in audible voice but to my spirit), “Susan, you don’t know…even when you think you do.”
I had no words…because it was true.
There have been so many times I have made assumptions without knowing the whole story.
None of us truly know what others have lived through.
Behind every face that we encounter throughout the day there is a story…a story that contains laughter, heartache, dreams, longings and fears.
There is also pain that no one may ever see.
I don’t want to add to that pain by treating someone as if I know their whole story…because I don’t.
All Jesus asks of me is to do what He would do: pour out mercy.
I am called simply to love. Without judgment. Without prejudice. With preconception.
I am called to think on “the best and not the worst, the beautiful, not the ugly, things to praise, not things to curse” (Philippians 4:8).
I need to be merciful because I need so much mercy every single day.
My goal is to always keep my eyes on Jesus, to allow Him to pour out His love through me, to love as He loves.
There is a snapshot from Jesus’ life in Scripture that always captivates me. In Matthew 9, we find Jesus thoroughly immersed in ministry…healing the sick, causing the blind to see and the paralyzed to walk, raising the dead, having dinner with Matthew’s friends. The crowds surrounding Him were huge. Verse 36 tells us that “when He saw the crowds, He had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.”
In the original language that word for compassion means: inward affection, tender mercy, a heart in which mercy resides.
May I have the same heart as my Savior.
Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. –Luke 6:36