I could not remember feeling as angry as I did then. Shaking, I stood there ready to hunt this man down and end his reign of abuse and oppression. The wall beside me felt the brunt of my anger as I punched it in an outburst of rage.
In that moment, I started to identify with the conflict in my spirit. My anger was telling me to fight for justice. My rage wanted to give the oppressor his dues.
On the other hand, sympathy was telling me to heal the injustice. Love was calling me towards freeing the oppressed.
Compassion hijacked my anger that day. My rage turned in on itself, and instead of driving me towards administering my own form of justice, it fueled a determination to feel deep empathy and act on the pain and sorrow I was experiencing.
When faced with the raw injustices in our world, it is our tendency to want to fight for justice. It is our human nature to want to retaliate and oppress the oppressor and fight the fighters.
But love calls us to a higher place. Jesus calls us to love our enemies, and heal injustice. The war we fight within us is between acting on our hate or being driven by love.
Compassion is what we do when love wins. - Pastor Tim Bailey of Hillside Church in London, ON
This man, when asked for his definition of "compassion", shared the story of his encounter with a 10-year-old little girl in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, who was abused and held as a slave by her uncle after the death of her parents. His initial reaction isn't so different from mine. But he's right: we are called to love our enemies. Even if the enemy manifests itself as an abuser of an innocent child.. yes, I suppose, even then.