As one understanding soul expressed it: "Compassion is not a snob gone slumming. It's a real trip down inside the broken heart of a friend. It's feeling the sob of the soul. It's sitting down and silently weeping with your soul-crushed neighbour."
Parcelling out this kind of compassion will elicit no whistles or loud applause. In fact, the best acts of compassion will never be known to the masses. Nor will fat sums of money be dumped into your lap because you are committed to being helpful. Normally, acts of mercy are done in obscurity with no thought (or receipt) of monetary gain.
Compassion usually calls for a willingness to humbly spend oneself in obscurity on behalf of unknowns. How few there are in our fast-paced, get-rich-quick society who say to such a task, "Here am I, use me." Truly compassionate people are often hard to understand. They take risks most people would never take. They give away what most people would cling to. They reach out and touch when most would hold back with folded arms. Their caring brings them up close where they feel the other person's pain and do whatever is necessary to demonstrate true concern.
If God's people are to be living examples of one thing, that thing ought to be—it must be—compassion.
Excerpted from Day by Day with Charles Swindoll, Copyright © 2000 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. (Thomas Nelson Publishers). All rights reserved worldwide. Used by permission.