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Are you moved with compassion?

From the November 2023 issue of The Christian Science Journal

Compassion moves us in a lot of different ways, perhaps especially during the holidays. People volunteer at food banks, donate toys, serve meals in shelters, or carry out other, unseen kindnesses. Acts of kindness bless the giver and the receiver and open the door to the possibility of seeing each other as the Bible indicates Christ Jesus saw people—as whole and well. 

More than all else, a compassionate heart longs to heal the woes of others. The Gospel of Mark describes how Jesus responded compassionately when a man suffering from leprosy came to him. The man said, “If thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.” Then the account tells us, “Jesus, moved with compassion, put forth his hand, and touched him, and saith unto him, I will; be thou clean” (1:40, 41).

It’s fair to ask, “Does my compassion reach far enough to heal?” Compassion that depends on the ups and downs of personal goodness isn’t up to the task. The Bible, however, helps us feel the compassion that moved Jesus, by connecting it to divine Love, the source of love that never runs dry. The prophet Isaiah speaks of God’s compassionate love as even more constant than a mother’s love for her precious baby: “Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee” (Isaiah 49:15). No one is outside of the loving consciousness that God, infinite Mind, has of His own offspring. This affectionate picture tells us about the unity of God, our Father-Mother, and His child, our true spiritual selfhood. 

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