Compassion fatigue is a term that describes the physical, emotional, and psychological impact of helping others — often through experiences of stress or trauma. Compassion fatigue is often mistaken for burnout.
Since the beginning of this COVID Era, we have been bombarded with talking heads end endless debates over openings and closing, to vaccinate or not, masking up or masks off, and the unimaginable stresses of dying, death, ventilator shortages and not being able to be with loved ones at their hour of need. Yes, this is a pandemic of epic proportions and can lead to compassion fatigue.
Let us consider Jesus as He enters into the fray of this world. We, His disciples, are authorized through the power of the Holy Spirit to minister to those who are harassed and helpless even as He did.
Look around you and your sphere of influence. Can you see hurting, helpless, hopeless people who are struggling to make ends meet and thirsty for hope and help? Jesus went among the people, all the people: the lame, the sick, the lepers, the sinners and brought healing to them. More importantly he brought hope to them. He had compassion, a deep loving compassion.
It is easy to have compassion for someone who is very close to us, but what about our neighbors? Our acquaintances? And yes, even those we do not know but encounter as we going about our appointed duties?
Recently, Nancy and I took a long-delayed vacation. In one of the cities we visited, there was a pelmeni shop. These are Russian boiled dumplings with various toppings.
Leighton was working the counter. As the shop emptied out, I was still enjoying my meal. I struck up a conversation with him about life in his community. The conversation eventually turned from news of the day to the Good News and I asked him what he thought of Jesus. We conversed about his past experiences with church and the challenges he felt. He said he needed “proof” of Jesus. I asked him if he would be willing to read the Gospel of Matthew and he said he would, indeed.
No matter where we go, I believe it to be good to have the eyes of Jesus, seeing lost and hurting people and invite them to consider the hope and compassion the Lord has for us. He does not tire from the immense challenges of this world.
Please pray for us as we begin our second quarter century of mission service bringing the Gospel to the Lost Sheep of the house of Israel and to the gentiles. (Romans 1:16)