Compassion has no place in the natural order of the world which operates on the basis of necessity. Compassion opposes this order and is therefore best thought of as being in some way supernatural.
By compassion we make others’ misery our own, and so, by relieving them, we relieve ourselves also.
~Thomas Browne, Sr.
So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion… – Paul to the Colossians (3:12).
There is still goodness in our nation and world. With the exception of a major disaster, this good news often doesn’t make it to page one and it isn’t particularly titillating. With evil so recently rampant, this is heartening information! So many calamities: earthquakes, tsunamis, fires, floods, volcanic eruptions, tornadoes and hurricanes! In each case, multitudes of people have thrown themselves into the devastation to salve the suffering of their fellow human victims.
It really doesn’t matter how culpable one has been by building on a floodplain, too near a volcano, in the midst of fire-prone forest or bush, over a fault line, or on a hurricane-prone coast…we help anyway. After all, few of us get to choose where we work and live. Who of us, furthermore, is innocent of making a poor choice? In my own case, there is no way I can, at this stage and in my present situation, flee from tornado danger. Someday, God forbid, one may twist and tear through my neighborhood.
But here’s what I know: if it ever happens, the good people of my city, state and nation will rush to our aid as we would theirs. They will be driven by the compassion and empathy characteristic of human beings created in the image of God.