There are some things that are more striking when seen from a distance. Having lived in mountainous areas for many years, I know this to be true. The soaring mountains and the brilliant fall foliage have a beauty that is all their own, yet both are more exceptional and stunning when viewed together against the canvas of a brilliant blue sky.
As striking as it is to see this scenery from a distance, there are some things that take on even more beauty when you see them up close – a snowflake, a flower… a shiny new Harley Davidson!
Then there are certain things that seemingly have no charm, no brilliance, no allure from any distance. Take pain, for example. When we see it up close, we often recoil and want to move far, far away. However, when we are willing to observe and experience the pain up close, it can move us to a greater place of compassion.
“A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead….But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came to where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him,” (Luke 10:30, 33, NIV – emphasis mine).
Like the Good Samaritan, I believe that as peacemakers, we are compelled to go where the need is. To move toward people, not away from them. To see the pain up close, not to pull away. It’s a tough thing to do, yet compassion and kindness can be ignited in the hearts of those who are willing to do just that.
Conflict. Heartache. Pain. It’s ugly. It’s messy. It’s undesirable. Many times I feel I’ve come close enough to it, yet the Spirit of God calls me to come closer still. Close enough to be moved. Close enough to care. Close enough to get involved.
The Good Samaritan came close to the man in need. Before he could act with compassion, he had to move toward the pain. If we desire to be used by God, then our calling is the same. As our hearts are connected to the Father and yielded to Him, we can move forward in compassion and be used by God to play a part of the healing process in the hearts and lives of others. When you see someone in need, don’t pull back. Come close. Walk the path.
Dale Pyne – CEO, Peacemaker Ministries
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