As we continue with our monthly focus on our core values (as a reminder, January’s focus was ‘celebrate’, February ‘excellence’, and March ‘holiness’), this month we hone in on the value of compassion.

The Greek word for compassion, used 12 times in the New Testament all in relation to Jesus, is splagchnizomai which means ‘inward parts’. If we had an understating of Greek when we read that Jesus was moved with compassion, we would understand that the text actually means Jesus physically felt the pain of the people right down to his very guts. In fact, it literally means He felt people’s pain right in his bowels.

It’s this form of compassion that we are called to at The Salvation Army. We strive to feel the kind of compassion that Jesus had for people when He saw their plight of pain and injustice.

As the narrator informs us in the above video, Bramwell Booth, compelled by compassion, pointed out to his father William that there were people without homes sleeping under bridges, his response was simply this:

“Do something!”

Out of that moment The Salvation Army shelters were born.

Now almost 150 years later, as we continue to ‘do something’ about people with no homes, let’s ensure that we’re guided by a higher core value of compassion. Let’s continue to feel the pain of the people we encounter, even right down to our guts, as we strive to be ‘The Hand of God in the Heart of the City’.

Dion Oxford, Director of Mission Integration

Compassion from Salvation Army Ethics Centre on Vimeo.

Prayer of Compassion 
Lord, open our eyes
that we may see you in our brothers and sisters.
Lord, open our ears
that we may hear the cries of the hungry,
the cold, the frightened, the oppressed.
Lord, open our hearts
that we may love each other as you love us.
Renew in us your spirit.
Lord, free us and make us one.
– Mother Theresa

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