The Women’s Desk, October, 2013 – Julia Keith

God’s Spirit makes a way to help me understand God’s nature and God’s will in responding to extreme situations. 
Psalm 103
8 The Lord is compassionate and merciful,
    very patient, and full of faithful love.
13 Like a parent feels compassion for their children-
that’s how the Lord feels compassion for those who honor him.
 
I know that word.
 
“Compassion is the understanding or empathy for the suffering of others. Compassion is the emotion that we feel in response to the suffering of others that motivates a desire to help. Ranked a great virtue in numerous philosophies, compassion is considered in almost all the major religious traditions as among the greatest of virtues.” -Wikipedia
 
But, how well do I live it? 
 
Margaret Suchocki, Claremont School of Theology, addressed Disciples of Christ at General Assembly in Orlando, Florida this year and spoke in part about the danger in praying for enemies. “Ill-will toward another is like ice in our hearts, ice that crowds out any sense of relation to those we despise. But our openness to God’s will is our openness to God’s universal love, entering our own souls, thawing the ice in our hearts, so that finally we care about the ones for whom we pray.”
 
God, help me! I’m not brave enough.
 
Psalm 103                                                                                                                     14 God knows how we’re made,                                                                                                   God remembers we’re just dust.                                                                                  17 But the Lord’s faithful love is from forever ago to forever from now                                          for those who honor him.                                                                                      18 And God’s righteousness reaches to the grandchildren                                                           of those who keep his covenant                                                                                              and remember to keep his commands.                                                                19 The Lord has established his throne in heaven,                                                                        and his kingdom rules over all.

God asks each of us to pray dangerously*, in faith and with compassion.

May God’s will be done!

*Read more about, Praying Dangerously by Gary Holloway – Leafwood Press

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