Friday, May 8, 2009

True Stories of Compassion

One of the best things that Jesus has done for me is fill me with compassion. I actually care about other people. I actually love other people. This has not always been the case.

True Story: I remember as a teenager driving around with some friends when we saw a kid, about five years old crash his bike really hard into a culvert. My immediate reaction was to burst out laughing. Even though it was obvious that the kid was hurt, it struck me as really funny. Served him right for - for - well - who cared. It served him right. I remember my friends looking at me kind of weird but since I had opened the door for this behaviour they also started to laugh - a little. I thought about how they looked at me from time to time but mostly I just pushed it out of my mind.

True Story: I’m twelve years old and I’m kicking around a gopher that I’d just shot. My mother is commenting on how, “You’re so hard hearted.” Damn straight! I was seething with anger back then. Screw the world. I blamed it on my arthritis which started when I was ten, but who knows, maybe I was just born hating.

True Story: I remember in the middle of my stoner years. A co worker and I were driving around and he said (I can even tell you the exact street corner where he said it) “You don’t give a fuck about anybody do you?” What bothered me more than the comment was the fact that he actually admired me for that. He wanted to be like me. What an idiot. I didn’t even want to be like me.

Fast forward twenty years. Jesus has brought me to my knees. I’ve got nothing left. I’m empty. My arrogance has been squeezed out of me. My pride pummelled and pounded until it threw in the towel. The Hound of Heaven had run me to ground with His Love. I once knew what it was like to not care about anyone but myself. I now know what it’s like to love, especially to love those who are struggling to stay alive.

True Story: My 1:00 had just arrived for his counselling appointment. He was terribly agitated. When I asked “What’s up?” he explained that he’d planned to kill himself that morning. On the way to his appointment he decided that he’d run a red light in the hopes that someone would hit his vehicle and kill him. What made him so angry, however, was that he encountered only green lights all the way to the office. He was furious over that fact. His fists were clenched so tightly that his knuckles were absolutely white. His jaw was clenched. He was breathing rapidly. The guy was fairly vibrating.

I asked John (I’ll call him John ‘cause that’s his real name) (I’ve always wanted to say that), “What would have happened if you hadn’t been killed? What if instead you’d hit someone else’s car and killed a child’s dad? What if you’d crippled a child for life?”

John looked up, stared slack-jawed into space for a bit and then broke down sobbing. So caught up was he in his own rage and despair that it had never occurred to him that someone else might be hurt. So desperate was he to end his own life, it never occurred to him that he might have taken the life of someone who wanted to live.

John became a Christian. He was treated for depression. He became so thankful that God had allowed him to live that morning and he began to live his life for others. He quit taking from life and began giving.

If God could do that for him, He can do that for you as well.

True story: A man was sitting on a pier in Boston harbour in the 1920's. He was enjoying the sun. He was enjoying the day. Another group of people, sightseers, came along. One of the sightseers left the group and walked along the peer. Just as he neared the guy sitting there, the sightseer tripped on a rope, fell off the pier and into the icy water. Not being able to swim, the drowning man called for help. The man’s friends could not get there in time, while the first man just sat on the pier and watched the man die. The group found out that the man sitting on the pier was quite a good swimmer and probably could have saved their friend’s life. Infuriated by the man’s callousness, the group sued.

While all of us can empathise with the group of friends, the court could do nothing. Even when the man said to the court, “Life has no meaning, no purpose. What’s he got to live for?” there was nothing to be done. You can’t legislate empathy. You can’t even force empathy. From my own case, I know of no way of obtaining empathy for those of us who begin life without it. However, this I do know. When Jesus enters a person’s soul, when Jesus takes command of a person’s will and desire, Jesus’ love and mercy and patience and empathy transforms a person’s life to one worth living. I thank God everyday for His provision of salvation.

How about you? Do you have compassion for others? Would you like to have compassion for others? Jesus is the source.

“All good things and every perfect gift is from above, coming down to us from the Father of Heavenly lights, in whom there is no changing or shifting like shadows.” James 1:17


feeno said...

Great post, however Jerry, George, Elaine and Kramer would disagree about we can't legislate morality. I think they went to jail over the "Good Samaritan" law?

I think God wired me to be compassionate before I became a Christian? I wish I knew when I did something "good", if it was because that's the way I've always been, or if it's the Holy Spirit working through me?

I think if I never accepted Christ, I'd still be compassionate?
But I still would of laughed at bike wreck boy, then went over to see if I could help?

Good day, feeno

Makarios said...

Remember, this was in 1920 or thereabouts. Actually, I was very much like those guys.

DromedaryHump said...

It's a pretty sad perspective that one has to believe in a fictional man-god in order to feel compassion for his fellow man.

But then again, theists seem to attribute all good works to supernaturalist belief and all ills to secularism. It's a self serving dogma. It infers those without belief are incapable of compassion / do no good works. It's a patently inane and easily falsifiable premise.

The difference between theists and secularists is when I do volunteer fund raising for the food bank its to because I can't stand the thought of people being hungry. When religionists offer compassion it's often a guise to recruit new adherents, bolster their standing in the eyes of their preferred god thing, or to attain some self satisfaction and admiration by fellow theists.

One of those two agendas is grostesque; the other is called simple humanity.


DromedaryHump said...

PS: about that so called 1920's "true story": I don't suppose you could provide the court case i.e. "Jones Vs. Atheist Scumbag" by any chance.

Frankly, it reads like something a religionist made up... a parable of sorts. Now, far be it from me to suggest theists make up stuff and call it ture, but how about alink to the verifiable legal documentation from which you gleaned this "true story".


feeno said...


Part of what you say is true, but Christians don't feel that you must be "saved" in order to do good. We believe we all can be good or compassionate, we just believe that all good comes from God.

But, there's just to many people, who were once like Makarios, who when they found the Lord, there heart changed.

My brother was also one of those guys. Like my brother I needed a saviour, I just wasn't an a#%hole.

I don't want to be offensive to you, but the good inside of you comes from God.

P.S. Makarios I wasn't implying you were an A*#hole. sorry if it came across that way.

Peace out, feeno

Makarios said...

No court citation.
I got it from a book by Charles Swindoll, “Dropping Your Guard,” Word Publishing, page 121.

The story doesn’t say anything about the person being an atheist. Why do you suppose that anyone who would do something like that must be an atheist?

“P.S. Makarios I wasn't implying you were an A*#hole. sorry if it came across that way.”

No need to apologise. I still am an asshole - just less so than before.

I’m afraid that you’re right Hump.

Some Christians do believe that they’re better people than ALL atheists. We SHOULD be better people, but I’m afraid that in many cases reality rules that out.

Hump, you should read Feeno's last relpy again. What he says is true.

I've learned that we Christians aren’t necessarily better people than any given atheist, we’re just better people than we were before we met Jesus.

We aren’t necessarily more intelligent than an atheist, we just have more wisdom and insight than we did before we met Jesus.

We aren’t necessarily less hypocritical than an atheist, we’re just less hypocritical than we were before we met Jesus.

We aren’t necessarily less bigoted than an atheist, we’re just less bigoted than we were before we met Jesus.

We aren’t necessarily less of a liar than an atheist, we just lie less than we did before we met Jesus.

We aren’t necessarily less intolerant than an atheist, we’re just less intolerant than we were before we met Jesus.

In my own particular case, I’m not necessarily less angry than an atheist, I’m just less angry than I used to be before I met Jesus.

Does it seem to you as weakness to need help to be good? You're right. I couldn't do it on my own. I'm too weak. If you can, then good for you. I need all the help I can get and like the saying goes, "To what will you look for help if not to That which is stronger than yourself."

Another important quote is from C.S. Lewis. "No one knows how bad he is until he tried really hard to be good. A good man knows of the evil still left in him. A thoroughly bad man thinks he is good."

Finally, when I gave that verse about all good things coming from God, I believe that's true. But I don't have any problem allowing or saying that God has allowed all the tragedy (excepting the stuff that's my fault) that's come into my life and there's been a pile; all the way from being sexually abused for years when I was a child, to the death of a child to the permanent brain damage of another child to having crippling arthritis for 46 years and counting and on and on. As far as I'm concerned the buck stops with God.

DromedaryHump said...


Thanks for the reply, albeit, longer than necessary.

So, you accepted and represented that story, that you extracted from a christian author's book, as "true". Yet, you never vetted it, never questioned it. This is, unfortunately, a theist trait... to never question what sounds good at face, especially when it supports one's theology. It results in a lack of curiosity, lack of skepticism, and a proponderance of gulibility.

The reason I made the assumption the person in the story was atheist was the phrase that he was aleged to have used as to why he didn't help the drowning man. That phrase is used in various forms by theists to erroneously describe atheists because of their rejection of supernaturalism / belief/ the concept of "god given purpose" et al.

Its a nonsensical and an argument from ignorance...again.

Mak, the very fact that you are asking me why I attributed the statement to a hypothetical atheist speaks of one of two things:
a) you didnt understand Swindoll's intent and the moral of his parable; or
b) you understood it fully and are being intentionally deceptive.

I don't know you well enough to ascertain which; albeit deception to religionists is a veritable sacrament.

I'm sorry that your level of compassion , empathy, adherence to western ethics and morality, control of your aggression and presumably happiness is largely dependent on belief in an imaginary friend.

Many of us seem to do equally well, indeed better, without dependency on such self deception. But hey, as long as you don't hurt anyone, or infringe on my rights, or actively attempt to dumb down our public schools, or launch wars for jesus, re-write history or impose your "beliefs" on others... what you think neither breaks my leg nor picks my pocket.

Feeno said:
"I don't want to be offensive to you, but the good inside of you comes from God."

Freeno, no offense taken. Personally I am equally convinced that the good inside YOU is directly attributable to Tammuz, or Mithra...and that what ever evil exists in you is the influence of Shiva or Moloch.


Makarios said...

“Yet, you never vetted it, never questioned it.”

Who CARES! Hump, the story has nothing to do with Christianity or atheism or theology. My post deals with those things, but not the story. The book from which the story is taken is about compassion and the point of the story is that you cannot legislate compassion. That's all. Swindoll wasn't thinking about you when he wrote it. Swindoll does not go on to speak of atheists nor does the book have anything to do with atheism.

Theology re enters the post at “From my own case . . .” where I state that I had no other way to become the kind of person I wanted to become. I’d do good for awhile and then I’d fall back into my own ways. I’d do good for awhile and then I’d fall back again.

The ‘True Story’ isn’t saying that you or anyone else, atheist or otherwise, can’t be compassionate. It’s saying you can’t force someone to be compassionate.

There are several reasons that the person saw no meaning or purpose in life. Being a counsellor (retired) my first guess would be clinical depression. That’s why I was curious as to why you picked atheist as your first guess.

Could I make a suggestion at this point? It’s one thing to judge people’s actions. It’s quite another, and usually it’s a mistake to judge people’s motives for those actions. You might save yourself some grief if you remember that.

“I'm sorry that your level of compassion . . .”

No need to apologise. There’s a couple billion of us who’ve experienced this dramatic change in our lives and at least for me it’s the best thing to ever happen to me. Despite an increase in challenges (those tend to come with 7 children and an aging body) every year since deciding to follow Jesus has been better than the year before. I'd never, ever go back. Like I said, if you can be good person on your own, if you like the person that you see in the mirror, then great. Enjoy your life.

“what you think neither breaks my leg nor picks my pocket.”

Actually, what I believe seems to bother you quite a bit.

feeno said...


You said "Freeno, no offense taken. personally I am equally convinced that the good inside of YOU is directly attributed to Tammuz, or Mithra... And whatever evil exists within you is the influence of Shiva or Moloch.

RE: Touche`

Peace Out, feeno

DromedaryHump said...

I'll accept your statement that you don't believe that the alleged phrase from the alleged "true" story was not intended to echo the typical "If you don't believe in god, you have no purpose in life." foolishness that theists have been chanting like lemings for years.

While the purpse of the authors story may indeed have been what you described, often a parable has multiple meanings and messages.
I'm so used to seeing scripted hackneyed Christian platitudes and so familiar with them that I am fine tuned to them and their inuendo, even if you, as a Christian might not be.


I sense, happily, that you're not the typical mindless fundie fanatic I so often encounter on the internet. With your permission I'll put your blog on my fav. places and visit from time to time.


DromedaryHump said...

sorry, missed this:
Mak said: "Actually, what I believe seems to bother you quite a bit."

Not at all. What you are probably sensinjg isn't "bother" as much as it is disappointment/frustration that a seemingily intelligent 21st century person surrenders his mind to ancient fable and feel good myth.

It's frustrating that they are so encumbered with their superstition based on cultists' scripture, that they reject modernity, reality and reason. I see it as a terrible waste of human potential, intellect, and an abdication of self-esteem / personal responsibility for their lives and actions.

No, your particular flavor of belief doesn't "bother" me, as long as it doesn't include those things that have so often given Evangelical, Fundamentalist, Literalist fanatical "do as I say because I am the moral authority" Christians a bad name [ see my post that touches on those attributes].

Live and let live I always say.


Anonymous said...

ups sorry delete plz [url=].[/url]

Anonymous said...

cole hauser still dating his girlfriend [url=]potassium argon dating[/url] detroit dating scene free youth materials on dating

Anonymous said...

excellent laptop battery [url=]Apple laptop battery[/url] Apple Laptop compare laptop prices
laptop comparison [url=]notebook batteries[/url] laptop review laptop batteries reviews
Alienware Laptop [url=]Clevo Laptop[/url] buy Laptop Battery Clevo Laptop

Anonymous said...

economy health food store [url=]roxithromycin[/url] wa state lic home health aides journal about medicine
loophole with fish antibiotics [url=]arava[/url] oral contraceptive pills [url=]health medication[/url]

Anonymous said...
[url=]black molley drugs of the past[/url] types of drugs marijuana bud [url=]cms hospital acquired infections[/url]
free best cialis softtabs online
[url=]drugs and meth[/url] american board of internal medicine preventive cardiology pim [url=]restless leg syndrome natural cures[/url]
pharmacy law ub
[url=]ice and drug abuse htm[/url] drug dmx [url=]medical encyclopedia[/url] nti drugs [url=]dexamethasone potency[/url]

Anonymous said...

last minute travel packages international travel advisory
[url=]computing tow capacity travel trailer[/url] peru gateway travel [url=]fort walton beach airport valparaiso[/url]
ontario travel
[url=]the world travel map[/url] hockey travel trips [url=]map of lake superior[/url]
queenstown travel trusted travel card [url=]military plane tickets[/url]

Anonymous said...

travel path finers travel to america
[url=]hopkins travel clinic[/url] business leisure travel [url=]united airlines logo[/url]
world travel cruises
[url=]i work for coastal travel[/url] mondono travel [url=]alamo car rental in canada[/url]
travel voyage travel coffee press [url=]international plane tickets cheap[/url]

Anonymous said...

flavored lubricants
[url=]adult ribald tales[/url] dildo realistic [url=]victoria gay men[/url]
hidden amateur home movie
[url=]anal fissure home remedy[/url] hentai negima [url=]moldova gay boys[/url]
porn bideo youtube
[url=]mass of adult male black rhino[/url] adult bunny slippers [url=]japan porn myfilehost[/url]
turkey adult names
[url=]adult categories yahoo[/url] kylie marie porn [url=]gay rights and the presidential election[/url]

Anonymous said...

mobile orange phone upgrade tri band vhf uhf mobile antenna comparison [url=]face warping software free for mobile phones[/url] mobile call recording in amr mp3 format

Anonymous said...

ftv andrea dildo masturbating
[url=]kimpossible porn comics[/url] hot blonde and her lucky dildo video [url=]live adult chat[/url]
adult sex stores minnesota
[url=]adult entertainment netwok[/url] gross adult video [url=]silver tex condoms[/url]
hentai media foot tease
[url=]girls eating out girls sexy[/url] huge dildo for gay men [url=]exposed thongs in public[/url]
anal chem 1975
[url=]horse cock dildo[/url] woman large dildo [url=]bbw monster ass[/url]

Anonymous said...

huntsville travel sierra travel trailer dealers
[url=]consuelos travel nj[/url] travel zoo super search [url=]disneyland anaheim all inclusive[/url]
cruise travel tips carry keycard
[url=]coporate travel departement faxes[/url] valencia travel [url=]marqueen hotel[/url]
weather and travel conditions on i 80 from homewood to joliet holiday travel transportation [url=]boeing tukwila[/url]

Anonymous said...

does alvalda have a generic [url=]ditropan[/url] smoke flavored seasoning
place a towel under to prevent back stress while doing sit ups [url=]effexor xr[/url] piriformas muscle [url= ]dental insurance for military retirees [/url] drug organizations for smoking and drinking
bad effects on diet pills [url=]purim[/url] mental health in nursing homes
health impacts soft drinks [url=]shallaki[/url] lipid blood test [url= ]the high cost of health care [/url] medical council of canada exams

Anonymous said...

how carbohydrates help diabetes [url=]arthrite[/url] what is the history of asthma
kidney calcium stones [url=]metformin[/url] kingdom gram positive bacteria [url= ]hacked female orgasm passwords [/url] srisatyasai institute of higher medical science andrapradesh
how to stop stress [url=]perdita di peso[/url] cialis drug drug drug drug levitra pharmacist prescription
romans law in heart [url=]abilify[/url] disorder eating in teen [url= ]city bush health care australia [/url] cleared hepatitis c infection

Anonymous said...

travel hawaii package automotive emergency travel kit canada
[url=]compare prices of online travel insurance[/url] pei travel [url=]southeast asia cruise[/url]
travel disneyworld
[url=]mackinac island travel[/url] lightweight travel trailer manufacturer us [url=]neil peart tour hat[/url]
air travel golf clubs road less taken travel group [url=]most beautiful flight attendants[/url]

Anonymous said...

petit womens clothes prive los angeles laurent [url=]laurentian university sudbury[/url] online natiopnal chanel aaa replica gucci twirl watch [url=]ancient egyptian fashion for women[/url]

Anonymous said...

vintage automobile radios auto 30th and e st sacramento
[url=]dfmea design tools for automobile[/url] volkswagen cabriolet convertible wiring [url=]cost saving post acquring daewoo[/url]
auto glass maryland
[url=]automobile buying websites[/url] bureau of auto repair [url=]reviews on 2005 buell xb12r firebolt[/url]
bayliss auto vent opener
[url=]mercedes benz ml320 2008[/url] volkswagen air cooled pics [url=]infiniti m45[/url]

Anonymous said...

staying fit bingo cards monte casino battle
[url=]betting odds primary election 2008[/url] blackjack ii micro storage cards [url=]gambling free computer roulette[/url]
evidence based practice for gambling
[url=]php lottery raffle[/url] el catalejo lottery [url=]sports and betting and gambling[/url]
gambling ring arrested in nj bingo gifs [url=]jackpot apparel[/url]

Anonymous said...

Have you ever considered publishing an e-book or guest authoring on other websites?
I have a blog based on the same subjects you discuss and
would love to have you share some stories/information.
I know my audience would appreciate your work. If you're even remotely interested, feel free to shoot me an e-mail.
Also visit my page casino online usa

Anonymous said...

Smoother was quickly dubbed the Fag during one of the 1900's Fashion Design era, womanhood's garments increasingly became more Democratic. [url=]kasper suits for women[/url] Tesco's Fashion business concern is maturation desire for change prevailed, ski and snowboard boots. The victimized time of origin military fashion, the cerebration goes. SlimpressionsSlimpressions Own a erect stripes for the Vivienne Tam Come down 2013 fashion design Prove I e'er Feature to go. kasper suits review kasper pant suits With the pealing fashion squeeze if necessary. fashion design shows isn't a reality for about items.