Compassion

Every student of the New Testament is familiar with the parables of the good Samaritan and the prodigal son; and all who read them are struck by their simplicity and by the depth of the compassion which they illustrate. In the story of the good Samaritan, as given in the tenth chapter of Luke, a man is portrayed as having been wounded and left lying helpless by the wayside. While he is in this pitiable condition, a priest and, after him, a Levite come his way, see him, and pass by "on the other side." "But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him." The narrative then recounts the practical result of the good Samaritan's compassion,—the placing of the injured man tenderly under the care of those who would look after him till he recovered.

Again, is it not the father's attitude of compassion toward the erring boy in the parably of the prodigal son which indicates the power that leads the wanderer back to the home where peace and love and the healthfulness of purity abide? How wonderful are the words: "And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him." Compassion was there,—compassion, the outcome of that deep, spiritual consciousness which kept realizing, even when evil seemed to human sense most real, the indestructible nature of good, the omnipotence of Love, and persisted until it healed the contrite heart.

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Making Our Burden Light
June 1, 1918
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