March 18, 2009 by Stephen
Nouwen is right on target when he describes compassion as “a concrete, specific gesture in which God reaches out to us.” As I talked with Randa about today’s reading, she mentioned that the first thing that came to her mind was an email that she received from our friend Angie, whose son died last summer. Angie mentioned living now with more thoughts about heaven, living more conscious about what heaven will be like. Angie and her family were the recipients of much compassion, of many specific gestures of God reaching out to them through friends and extended family. I believe that this experience has brought them to embrace the understanding of the compassionate life that Nouwen speaks of, a life that can be lived “to the fullest only when we know that it points beyond itself.” We already see the vision of a new heaven and a new earth – when we feed the hungry, when we fight injustice, and when we comfort the family that has experienced the grief of a lost son.