Mark 1:40-45 (NIV)

40 A man with leprosy came to him and begged him on his knees, “If you are willing, you can make me clean.” 41 Filled with compassion, Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” 42 Immediately the leprosy left him and he was cured. 43 Jesus sent him away at once with a strong warning: 44 “See that you don’t tell this to anyone. But go, show yourself to the priest and offer the sacrifices that Moses commanded for your cleansing, as a testimony to them.” 45 Instead he went out and began to talk freely, spreading the news. As a result, Jesus could no longer enter a town openly but stayed outside in lonely places. Yet the people still came to him from everywhere.   

Mark 1:41 (NRSV)

41 Filled with compassion, Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!”   

DEVOTION -Margie Harding (Maryland)

Many years ago a neighbor lost one of her children through a tragic accident.  I didn’t know her well, but due to the unusual circumstances of this child’s death, I cried for days.  Finally, after several weeks had passed, I wrote my neighbor and was surprised to receive a return note.  She said that messages like the one I had sent brought an occasional ray of sunshine to her day.  Each year since that exchange, I have sent a note near the anniversary of her child’s death and on near his birthday.

Once on a chance meeting she hugged me and said, “Never let those cards stop coming.  Everyone else forgets.”  She expressed gratitude that even years later, someone could still share the grief that she never forgets.

Jesus was a man who understood compassion, and he taught us to share that compassion with others.  Sometimes that compassion is as simple as sharing a hug, a note, a listening ear, and the love of Jesus.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: Jesus calls us to show compassion.

PRAYER: Compassionate Father, you know our pain.  By your grace we can move forward when life hurts.  Thank you for your healing touch.  Amen.