This entry previously posted on inkblotcoffee.blogspot.com.
In children's church this week, we talked about some of the miracles Jesus performed in the book of Matthew, and then the kids worked to memorize Matt 9:36, which says that when Jesus looked at the crowd "He had compassion on them." My initial reaction was to remember the many times my heart hadn't been filled with compassion towards the suffering, the many times my heart hadn't even been filled with compassion for my own children. I prayed immediately that Jesus would help me be more like him, that he would take my old heart and give me a new one full of love. But I admit, I felt guilty about the many times I don't treat others with compassion, the many times my selfishness or impatience wins out.
Then I remembered that when Jesus looks at me, he has compassion for me too. He looks at me and he loves me. Sure, he's fully aware of the times I lost my temper and yelled at my kids, but he still loves me. He is full of compassion for me and longs to heal me of the sickness of my heart that twists who he originally intended me to be into something ugly. He does not look at me in disbelief, frustrated that I am screwing up yet again. He does not look at me in impatience, astounded that I yet again need his help and forgiveness. He does not look at me as a problem to be solved, something broken that needs fixing, or a minor inconvenience to his day. He looks at me as his dear child, who was worth the payment of his life.
I write this after a long week with the kids. The Man was gone on a work trip, and I was not at my best. Every day was a struggle to present my children with the mother they needed, the one I wanted to give them. And many days I felt that I failed. It was hard to hear at the back of my mind, over and over again, that Christ was looking at me with compassion. I didn't want compassion--I wanted my kids to get a break from me. I wanted a break from them! But instead of a break, I was given Christ. He gives us himself so that we can persevere, grow, and give him to others. Much like the feeding of the five thousand with the five loaves and two fish, when Christ gives us himself, it doesn't look like much at first, but it is amazing how it multiplies when we give thanks and keep breaking off pieces to pass to the next person.
So here it is, Saturday morning after a challenging week, I can hear the rustle of legos from the Bigs room and the twins trying to rope Twinkle into playing Pretend in their room. The cats are curled up beside me in bed. My husband is on a plane, flying home to us (hurray!). Soon, we'll be up and making crepes and bacon (as promised earlier in the week) before I con the kids into helping me clean the house and go for a walk. But for right now, in this brief moment of quiet, I'm praying for myself that I would be more like Jesus--full of compassion--because I'm looking straight into his eyes and seeing the gentle love he has for me. If you'd like, I'll even pray it for you too.