Monday, April 7, 2014

on compassion

I'm in the tiny change room at the chiropractor's office.
They have a full length mirror and I notice that my stomach is not nearly as flat as it was before I got pregnant with Elmer...
I turn around and examine the blue bruises on my back.
I feel like an idiot - I slipped on our top step leaving our house, and landed on the stairs on my back and it hurts.
It hurt so bad I lay there and panted trying to catch my breath for a full minute watching the snowflakes melt under my fingertips.
It hurt so bad that I could only lay in one position all night and if I accidentally shifted, it felt like I was being beaten with baseball bats.
It hurt so bad that I went to the doctor, and a week later when it still hurt so bad, I went to the chiropractor.
Surely something must be out of place for it to hurt so constantly and consistently?
Both told me I had just badly bruised my ribs and that there is still quite a bit of swelling and that it will get better, I just need to give it time...
And maybe I'm just tired from tenderly trying to nurse the baby in the night without moving and curling my body around his little frame.
But when I closed the door and took off the gown to pull my sweatshirt over my head, I could feel that tears wanted to fall and I asked myself, "What's up with these tears, little heart? Surely you've felt worse pain (I have) and you'll just have to be tough for a couple of weeks as your body heals. It could have been worse, couldn't it (it could)?"
And my heart acknowledged that my mind spoke truth, but the lump in my throat refused to be swallowed.
In that moment, I felt like I could understand Elmer's longing, reaching, reaching in the night. I felt like I could feel just how it felt to be Ephraim and sneak into our room to find us at three in the morning. I felt like the child who has fallen off their bike, scraped their knee and doesn't cry till they make eye contact with their mama.
I felt like sympathy and compassion are qualities like grace and hope that make the world a sweeter place to live in...
We don't have time to hear about suffering anymore. It makes us uncomfortable. "Talk about that later when I'm not around..." "Quit whining!" "Ugh, Suck it up..."
And instead of alleviating suffering, we alienate the sufferer...
Instead of comforting, we demand strength...
Instead of grace, we vent annoyance...
I know so many times I've been impatient with those who are suffering - not having ears to listen, or eyes to see a need. I've so often given my own discomfort or my own inconvenience over another person's suffering a higher priority.
I want to be a tender mama - a gracious friend - one generous with compassion and full of selfless love...
And if a tumble down my front steps is what it took to teach me this lesson, then I'm grateful for each bruise.


Steve Finnell said...


Is it possible to be saved without having your sins forgiven? Was Saul saved by faith alone before his sins were forgiven?

If Saul was saved on the road to Damascus, then he was saved without having his sins forgiven.

Saul believed in Jesus on the road Damascus, but his sins were forgiven three days later in Damascus
Act 9:1-19......9 And he was three days without sight, and neither ate nor drank....

Saul sins were forgiven in Damascus, three days later, not on the road to Damascus.
Acts 22:1-16.....10 And I said, 'What shall I do Lord?' And the Lord said to me, 'Get up and go into Damascus, and there you will be told of all that has been appointed for you to do.'.......16 Now why do you delay? Get up and be baptized, and wash away your sins,calling on His name!

Saul was not saved by faith only. Saul was saved by believing and being baptized in water.

Jesus did not establish faith only salvation on the road to Damascus. Jesus confirmed what He already had said "He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved"... (Mark 16:16)

You cannot be saved unless your sins have been forgiven.

In order to support the doctrine of faith only men have offered many reasons why the Scriptures cannot be trusted.
1. The Bible is not the inerrant word of God, it has many errors and contradictions.
2. You have to be a Greek scholar to understand the Bible. If you understand the original Greek language, then you would know water baptism is not essential for forgiveness of sins.
3. You need to use extra-Biblical writings to understand the plan of salvation.
4. The Bible has been mistranslated, therefore men are saved by faith only and not the way it is presented in the Bible.

If God is not smart enough to give men an accurate translation of His plan for salvation and Christian living, then why would anyone trust in Him for salvation or for anything else.

God has given us His plan of salvation in many translations, in different languages. You do not have to know Greek.You do not have to have a Greek dictionary. You do have to be Greek. If men had to be able to read and understand original Greek to understand the Bible, then all Bibles would be in Greek.


Men are not saved by faith only and there is no verse of Scripture that states men are saved by faith only. Men are saved by faith, but not by faith only.


paige said...

Thank you for that, Steve!


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