This week David, Joyce and Dave have shared about how real faith results in compassionate hearts that act on that compassion.
When I think about compassion I'm reminded of Jesus' words that are recorded in Luke 7:46-48. Jesus was specifically talking about Mary at the time, but he presented the principle that one who's been forgiven much, loves much. I've been forgiven MUCH. I've experienced God's grace, mercy, love, and unmerited favor greatly in my life. Because of His love for me, I can love others. I've also been through lots of hard times, so I understand what pain is like and my heart goes out to others who suffer.
But I really appreciated in Dave's post yesterday how the man who gave the single mom the money didn't want anyone to know about it. Somehow sharing about acts that I've done out of compassion feels all wrong; telling others what I've done seems counter productive (perhaps that's why Dave shared about someone else's acts). So, rather than regal you with tales of things I've done, I wanted to share just a bit with you about a group of people who need our compassion.
If you've read my blog much you know that I periodically post about Mental Illnesses. Through my work and personal life I've had years and years of experience dealing with mentally ill individuals. I've noticed that few people understand what it's like for those who suffer from mental illness. Most people just find mentally ill individuals annoying (this is most likely because mentally ill people so frequently engage in annoying behavior!) But no one chooses to have a mental illnesses. I know that God loves mentally ill individuals the same way He loves everyone else. I know that God's heart is that we would love, and not miss opportunities to show that love in action toward mentally ill people when they cross our paths.
What about you, what have your encounters with mentally ill people been like?