Last June, I had the unique privilege of spending time at the former home of Mother Theresa in Calcutta, India.
I saw the room she slept in for over 50 years. I interacted with the Missionaries of Charity who worked alongside side her for decades and still live in the home. While there, I heard a revealing story about an appointment she had with a United States President. At the time of the President’s arrival in Calcutta, she was caring for a dying man in one of her rescue homes. Several people came to her requesting she leave because the President was waiting. She refused to leave. She held the dying man in her arms for nearly an hour until he breathed his last breath, insisting that was far more significant than a meeting with the President or any dignitary for that matter.
I think often of the Gospel writer’s description of Jesus when he interacted with the hurting. They said he was “moved with compassion.” Maybe when the disciples saw the vast crowds, they were overwhelmed or even annoyed by the pressing needs. When Jesus saw the crowds, his heart and soul stirred. He hurt for the hurting.
The Apostle Paul apparently felt the same way. He said “I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart” when referring to the spiritually lost. He actually hurt for the hurting.
I believe the nearer we draw to Christ the more we hurt for the hurting. Paul prayed for the church in Galatia that “Christ be formed” in them. What extraordinary compassion Jesus exemplifies for us. He cries “Father forgive them” in the face of his torturers. He embraces the leper. He ministers to the sick from morning until evening after the death of his close friend and cousin, John the Baptist.
Almost no meaningful spiritual formation occurs in our hearts without quiet reflection and meditation. Today, I suggest you pull away from the busyness of your life and ask Christ to sensitize your heart with his compassion so that you hurt for the hurting as he did.