“Compassion for others is not a simple virtue because it avoids snap judgments of right or wrong, good or bad, hero or villain: It seeks truth in all it’s complexity. Genuine compassion means that in empathizing with the failed plans and uncertain loves of the other person we send out the vibration, ‘Yes, ragamuffin, I understand. I’ve been there, too.’ … Judgment depends on what we see, how deeply we look at the other, how honestly we face ourselves, how willing we are to read the human story beneath the frightened face.” Brennan Manning
“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God;
and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.
The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.”
1 John 4:7-9
Moving from the Head to the Heart
- Do you often make “snap judgments of right or wrong, good or bad, hero or villain?”
- Do you categorize people with labels (“lame”,”lazy”, “needy”) or amateur diagnoses (“low functioning”, “compulsive”, “addicted”) or plainly insulting terms (“clueless”,”hopeless”, “loser”)? How about when you’re driving? looking around at church? scanning the crowd at your kids concert or ball game? Can we agree that it’s easy not to love well?
- Manning suggest we will judge less, and love more, if we look deeply within ourselves for explanations, and if we look beyond the surface (“deeply”) at others – “to read the human story beneath the frightened face.” Will you join me in working on that?
Abba, I desperately want to read the human story behind the frightened face. Help me to learn a new way of looking at people – to look deeply beyond the fears and defenses, the disguises and the masks. Help me to breathe in your love, and breathe it out as your and my gift to the world.
For More: The Ragamuffin Gospel by Brannon Manning
The “Daily Riches” from RicherByFar are for your encouragement as you seek after God, and as he seeks after you. My goal is to give you something of uncommon value each day in less than 400 words. I hope you’ll follow my blog, and share it with others. I appreciate your interest! – Bill (Psalm 90:14)