by Demi Prentiss
Brian McLaren, in his book We Make the Road by Walking, makes the point that becoming Christian means being alive in Christ. Wherever we find ourselves, we are to “be Christ” to the fullest extent we can manage.
What a challenge! I’m often stumped knowing how to begin “being Jesus.” Rob Voyle’s article “Compassion and the Crazy Wisdom of Jesus” opens possibilities. Voyle begins by making the point that “people don’t want to be changed, they want to be blessed.” There’s a beginning: I can take action to be a blessing.
Then Voyle goes on to describe three compassionate faces of Jesus:
- When he encountered injury, he responded with tenderness.
- When he encountered injustice, he responded with fierceness.
- When he encountered stuck-ness, he responded with playfulness.
Jesus’ compassion was consistently directed at bringing transformation – opening the way toward wholeness and healing.
As a repertoire of compassion, those three possibilities open my imagination. In the situation I am facing, what is the truly compassionate response – tenderness, fierceness, or playfulness? And how can I respond in a way that opens possibilities for transformation – my own as well as others’?