Bowels of Mercy
Not very long ago I was presented with a new thought. Have you ever been presented with such a thing? You know, the kind of thought that takes you further into an existing thought whereby the original understanding takes on an entirely different meaning? Well, my reflection presently includes such a journey. I was presented with the idea that pertains to the source of an action. The action is best described by "mercy."
Let's say, for example, you happen to be driving down the highway and you come upon an accident that just occurred. You are following behind two other cars. The drivers in the two other cars, for whatever reason, continue on their journey evidently deciding perhaps that someone else with more expertise will be better able to lend assistance. At any rate all of a sudden you are faced with a decision. Do I follow the other two cars or do I stop to lend whatever assistance I can? A lot of thoughts can run through a person's mind. Almost like the proverbial tug of war exercise we may have experienced as children. What do I do? Should I stop? What will I see? I don't know anything about first aid.
Then something seems to surface within you, a memory, a thought. This memory seems to come from deep within you. All of a sudden the memory of a car accident that you had been involved in several years earlier captures your attention. Recalling the various people that stopped to assist you comes rushing back into the fore front of your gaze. It seems to be more vivid now than when it occurred. It was so painful all you wanted to do was forget it ever happened but here it is.
You find yourself applying the brakes to slow down your car then it happens, the decision is made to stop and assist. You're not sure just what you can do but that doesn't seem to matter. All you know is that whatever it is you can or can't do seems to blur into the reality that you are present and available. Other motorist also begin to stop and soon your presence folds into theirs and together you become a force that moves in concert to come alongside the suffering at hand.
How does that happen? Where does the motivation to help find its spark? I'm beginning to entertain the thought that such motivation comes from the bowels of humanity. Without mincing too many words, the human bowel contains some very caustic material. Recalling the motion picture Forrest Gump, there was a term used in the film that indicated that pain and suffering comes to all of us and it was described as "shit happens."
If humanity has described pain and suffering with such terms comparing it to the caustic material found in the bowels of humanity then perhaps it can be said that when one recalls their own pain and suffering, while viewing the pain and suffering of others, perhaps it is out of that source where comes an empathetic response that has mercy written all over it. If this is so then maybe that's why the "Good Samaritan," spoken of in Luke chapter ten, stopped and assisted the man lying on the side of the road left for dead.
My guess is this Samaritan knew something about pain and suffering. There is no telling what he may have endured to bring him to the place within himself that viewed another's misfortune with such compassion to action. Whatever it was I contend that it came from deep within his own bowels of mercy. We all have that capacity to move with compassion to aid those in pain but it seems that until we deal with our own painful past we will simply continue up the road only to ignore the hurting. Allow me to encourage you to use what you already have to bless those who cross your path daily. You won't regret it! Blessings on your Journey!