Following the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, we were all overwhelmed by the images of devastation and hardship endured by the people of that tiny nation. Of the many heartbreaking pictures, one captured my attention. It showed a woman staring at the massive destruction—and weeping. Her mind could not process the suffering of her people, and as her heart was crushed, tears poured from her eyes. Her reaction was understandable. Sometimes crying is the only appropriate response to the suffering we encounter.

As I examined that picture, I thought of the compassion of our Lord. Jesus understood the need for tears, and He too wept. But He wept over a different kind of devastation—the destruction brought on by sin. As He approached Jerusalem, marked by corruption and injustice and the pain they create, His response was tears. “Now as He drew near, He saw the city and wept over it” (Luke 19:41). Jesus wept out of compassion and grief.

As we encounter the inhumanity, suffering, and sin that wreak havoc in our world, how do we respond? If the heart of Christ breaks over the broken condition of our world, shouldn’t ours? And shouldn’t we then do everything we can to make a difference for those in need, both spiritually and physically?

Lord, when I learn that someone is hurting,
Help me know what to do and to say;
Speak to my heart and give me compassion,
Let Your great love flow through me today. —K. De Haan

Compassion offers whatever is necessary
to heal the hurts of others.