Nathan said something last night that stuck me. I’ve been thinking about it since. He said he sort of feels sorry for Gollum. Yes, that would be Gollum from Tolkien’s “Lord Of The Rings” trilogy. I’m often stuck by Nathan’s level of compassion. It comes out of nowhere sometimes. I have to admit that I couldn’t immediately relate to his sentiment. However after reading this description in Wikipedia I may also have found a place of compassion for this very fictional character:
“During his centuries under the Ring’s influence, he developed a kind of split personality: “Sméagol” still vaguely remembered things like friendship and love, while “Gollum” was a slave to the Ring who knew only treachery and violence.”
I guess I always viewed Gollum more as a victim of his own greed than as an actual slave to something else. Maybe he’s both, but how many real life people are both victims and slaves? And should I care less about them based on where their captivity stems from? Jesus came to set captives and prisoners free. Those who became captive by their own choice and those who became prisoners because of someone elses bad decision or as a result of living in a fallen world.
Nathan’s compassion (even for a fictional character) is something that God has placed in him ( he also gets it from his Dad ). The definition of compassion is:
a feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering.
Compassion motivated Jesus. It’s an attribute of who God is and a part of his divine nature. Disease, pain, sadness, and suffering draw Him to embrace, heal, and restore. Our heavenly Father cares deeply for those who are sick, hurting, wounded, and in captivity due to their own sin or someone elses. God is compassionate beyond our understanding or comprehension.
There was a story on the christian radio station the other day about debt collectors. The reporter was letting people in debt know they should not expect a lot of compassion from the collectors who call because they have become hardened by hearing so many “sob” stories. As I was listening to this story I realized how easy it is in this world to become hardened in heart and loose compassion for the suffering. It’s true, some are suffering because of their own choices while others suffering is a complete mystery. No matter the cause, Jesus healed and saved people whom He had compassion on. I’m grateful to see the heart of God in my son and challenged to keep my heart soft and open to feeling God’s love and compassion for each person that He gave His life for.
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”
Prayer: Lord Jesus, open my eyes to see how compassionate you are and fill me with greater compassion in your presence. Amen.