When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd.  So he began teaching them many things.  Mark 6:34 (NIV)

I am sure that most of you will be well acquainted with the story of Jesus' miracle of feeding the five thousand.  It's one that I have known since I was a small girl, but it was only during a recent sermon at church that I was struck by the power of verse 34.  If you read the preceding verses, you find that Jesus' original plan was for his twelve disciples to go away to a quiet place and get some rest and spend quality time with him.  But when the people find out where Jesus is headed, they run on ahead to meet him there.  Instead of trying to slip away again with his disciples, Jesus had compassion on the people because they were lost sheep and chose to teach them "many things" instead.

Bib necklace by sammysgrammy

And Jesus doesn't only show his compassion by teaching the people from the word instead of having some quiet time with his disciples.  If you read further along after verse 34, you see that he further shows his compassion for the people in the actual feeding of the five thousand.  Jesus' disciples tell him that it's late and to send the people away to find their own dinner, but instead, he chooses to provide a filling meal for the five thousand men (and who knows how many women and children) in attendance.

Mushrooms Photograph by Patricia Clark

Seeing Jesus' compassion so powerfully displayed in this passage got me thinking about whether I show compassion to others.  According to Dictionary.com, the word "compassion" means "a feeling of distress and pity for the suffering or misfortune of another, often including the desire to alleviate it".  While I could boast about the ways I perceive that I show compassion to those less fortunate, honesty forces me to admit that this is another area in my life on which I need to improve.  To get you thinking about ways you could emulate Jesus and show compassion to others, here are some ideas which came to my mind.  It's not an exhaustive list and I would love if you want to share any other ideas you have!

Felt Flower Tag by Little Miss Designs

Some Acts of Compassion:
  • sponsoring a child through a Christian aid organisation
  • sending a letter to and/or praying for those in your church or community who are struggling
  • cooking a meal for someone who is ill or going through hard times
  • spending time with those who are feeling lonely and isolated
  • volunteering to help out in a soup kitchen or other similar charity group
Deb - dspdavey (Two Cheeky Monkeys) 

Blue Artsy Beaded Bracelet by Seedling Designs

Hand Knitted Alpaca Scarf by Nannas Knitting

Beaded Ivory Choker by Foxy Momma Creations

Birthday Card by the lillies web gallery

Stripey Wool Socks by Fibre Mom

Comments (10)

On July 29, 2011 at 10:22 AM , chocolatedogstudio said...

I like all of your suggestions. Great post!

On July 29, 2011 at 10:22 AM , Sue Runyon said...

Wonderful post, Deb! Those are all wonderful ways to show compassion and they all happen to be pretty fun to do too :-)

On July 29, 2011 at 4:15 PM , MYSAVIOR said...

Thank you, Deb! I enjoyed reading this today. I have been thinking about sponsoring a child but not sure which organization is the best.


On July 29, 2011 at 4:39 PM , Crafty Mommas said...

this goes with my reading this morning! I must really need to hear this today. thanks so much for writing it up

On July 29, 2011 at 4:46 PM , Monika said...

This is really inspiring and I enjoyed the debt which with you have approached this verse. Thank you♥♥

On July 29, 2011 at 5:31 PM , Sue Runyon said...

Sue, we sponsor through Compassion International and it's very well respected and a Christian organization. If you can't afford the $38 per month long-term commitment to sponsor a child you can also donate to their general fund or other funds in any amount you wish.

On July 29, 2011 at 5:33 PM , Sue Runyon said...

By the way, I'd love for the CAST Team to have an on-going fundraiser for something like Compassion International or Samaritan's purse.

On July 29, 2011 at 9:59 PM , krafterskorner said...

Great post! Those are great ways to show compassion!

On July 30, 2011 at 2:24 AM , Nanna's Knitting said...

Very nice writing! Thank you for sharing this with us. Also, I am so honored to have my scarf included here today with so many talented Etsy Artists. The featured items are gorgeous. Thank you for including my scarf.

On July 30, 2011 at 6:43 PM , sammysgrammy said...

Thank you, Deb, for provoking us to think about how we might get involved in people's lives like Jesus did.

I am so honored that my bib necklace is included in your choices to feature, too.