Summertime Compassion

It is no surprise that there is so much evidence of hurt, pain and anxiety in our world today. Due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, many among us have lost relationships, jobs, businesses, homes and loved ones – and the emergence of the Delta variant only suggests that the end is nowhere near.

Many among us are struggling to find solutions to problems we did not create or foresee – who could have predicted that our world would have been altered so drastically? Who could have foreseen such disregard for life with all the hate-crimes and shootings? Who could have imagined a day will come when there would be passengers without respect for laws and flight attendant guidance onboard?

Given this reality, and the fact that trusted and elected leaders are offering limited or sometimes conflicting guidance, we are left to our own devices – lost amidst the storms around us.

Believe it or not, we are just like the masses that followed Jesus. In Mark 6:34, we read, “As Jesus went ashore, he saw a great crowd; and he had compassion for them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things.”

Jesus had “compassion” for the people who were clueless about where they would sleep or from where the next meal was coming. Jesus had empathy, feelings for, literally “co-suffered” with his followers. Jesus was actively seeking a solution to help alleviate the pain, loneliness, broken promises and suffering of the people who left to survive on their own.

I know that none of us possess the divine powers of Jesus but we have a worthy example of compassion – a healthy dose of compassion embodied for us to draw on and try to replicate in our journey, especially when things begin to “heat up” around us. In a world of hurt and brokenness you can bear compassion in the simplest act of breathing deeper and even sharing a cup of cold water with someone in need. Yes, you can!

Let us pray: O God, powerful and compassionate, you shepherd your people, faithfully feeding and protecting us. Heal each of us, and make us a whole people, that we may embody the justice and peace of your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen
The Rev. Romeo K. Dabee
JFK Airport Community Minister/Chaplain
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