Reading: Luke 7: 11-17
In His encounter with the woman outside of Nain, Jesus extends deep compassion. He sees the funeral procession nearing His group and identifies the woman as the mother of the son who has died. The deep compassion Jesus feels leads Him to offer her some words of comfort, “Don’t cry”. Perhaps He chooses these words because He already knows what is coming next.
At times we too have encounters where we can see quickly that one is suffering or is in grief or is somehow afflicted. Compassion rises up in our hearts as words begin to form in our minds. We want to offer comfort or relief. We want to help their situation. But sometimes we do not know how or maybe we are unsure of what the next step will be so we really do not offer all of the compassion we are capable of giving. We hold back. Our words are short and superficial. Then there is no commitment or need for follow through.
It is unclear whether or not Jesus knew the woman’s situation. Maybe all He saw was her grief and He was moved with a deep compassion. Or maybe He knew her full situation. In either case, Jesus offered all He could. He followed up His words of comfort with action. Jesus called to the dead son to get up and He breathed new life into him.
In our encounters with those in need, we sometimes hesitate at the action step. We pause and ask ourselves what this step of action might cost us. Maybe we wonder if we really even have anything to offer that will help. The cost and whether or not we have something to offer are things we should not consider. What we have to first offer in all situations is free and costs us nothing. The love of Christ in us should always lead the way. What comes next is also a gift from God. All that we have to share is a gift from God. Whether a physical blessing or a gift such as empathy or compassion, God blesses us so that we can bless others. God expects us to love freely, to not hold back. Jesus demands of us what He was willing to give Himself: all. Jesus gave all of Himself for you and for me. Let us do the same for Him.