And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.
When the prodigal son made the decision to return to his Father’s house and acted on that decision by merely beginning the journey back to his father’s house, the father saw that action being joined to that decision and it provoked compassion in the Father. The Father then arose and put some action with the decision also. It didn’t even matter to the Father that his prodigal son was in the condition he was in because of his own choices and riotous living. The fact that the son had made a decision and put some action with that decision provoked compassion in the Father.
True compassion doesn’t wait for the prodigal son to successfully make it back to the Father’s house. True compassion comes flowing out just because someone is trying to get back. True compassion doesn’t even care if it’s their own fault that they are in such a messed up situation. Once the poor soul makes a decision and puts a little action with that decision, true compassion reaches out and becomes a bridge to try and help them successfully return to their Father’s house.
Compassion is a bridge. There were two disciples once upon a time in the New Testament who were on their way to the Temple to pray. As they went they passed a man who sat begging alms. They said unto the man, silver and gold have I none but such as I have I give unto thee. In the name of Jesus rise up and walk. Then a curious thing happened. The disciples reached down and took the man by the hand and lifted him up and when the man got up on his feet he was healed. True compassion is a bridge and not just an emotion. True compassion reaches across to where someone is and does not wait for that person to come to where they are. I am afraid often times our attitude is that I will be compassionate and accept them if they come to me. When someone puts some action with their decision to return it is time for me to become a compassionate bridge and reach out to them.