Sunday, April 12, 2015

Compassion vs. Mean Tweets

This definition of compassion sounds remarkably similar to the character of Jesus:

"When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd." (Matthew 9:35-38)

This video is a powerful statement, as people who have (or still are) experiencing homelessness are given the opportunity to read some of the "mean tweets" that people have posted online:



It would be so easy to indulge in some level of self-righteous indignation at the cruelty of these "mean tweets", and write a fiery rant about thoughtless, hard-hearted, careless words that reinforce the wisdom of Solomon's proverb: "The tongue has the power of life and death." (Proverbs 18:21)

But somehow, I think Jesus would focus more on compassion. Remember, this is the same Jesus who broke all kinds of societal traditions by reaching out and actually touching a guy suffering from leprosy:
A man with leprosy came and knelt in front of Jesus, begging to be healed. “If you are willing, you can heal me and make me clean,” he said. Moved with compassion, Jesus reached out and touched him. “I am willing,” he said. “Be healed!” Instantly the leprosy disappeared, and the man was healed. (Mark 1:40-42)
The video is a powerful reminder that these are people, who have become homeless. They are not some vague demographic called "the homeless". They have names. They have stories. They have hopes and dreams.

Jesus would have compassion for them. And so can we.

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