In Search of Christian Compassion

A premise: If your Christian Walk isn’t difficult, you aren’t doing it right.

Admission: As we would say here in Mont-gum-ree, “I ain’t doin’ it right”.

I will spare you the pointless, prideful protestations that, “I am not a bad person”. After all, it’s really not hard to not be bad. True, I have failed spectacularly at times and done some really bad (stupid) things – but, in day to day life, one must make a concerted effort to be a bad person. No, the true challenge of Christianity lies in it’s proactive elements. Any Christian worth their salt(-of-the-earth) will tell you, Christianity is not a list of don’ts, it’s a list of do’s. Frankly, that is where I stumble the most.

To my human mind, I have a .500 batting average (eat that, Ted Williams!). For you see, the first of the two greatest commandments is to Love the Lord, your God with all your Heart, Soul, and Mind (and of course, Strength as well, if you were to ask Mark and Luke). Ostensibly, I’ve got that one down.

Just don’t ask me about that second part – that loving your neighbor as yourself stuff.

I am generally a relatively selfish person, (in a way) all things considered and from an overall perspective. It’s especially disgusting the way that I treat “me-time” as though it were My Precious. But that is another story, and rather than going there (and back again) right now, I wanted to explore in a slightly different direction.

My compassion-ater is broken. Alas and alack, it’s compassion I lack. I am not sure where or why it went, but I’ve lost that loving feeling (whoa-oh-oh-oh). Now, I am arguably quite a warm and jovial being. And at my present (over)Weight, I would even venture to say that I am jolly. And that is not just a surface thing, I genuinely exude a joy of spirit (I was tempted to say joie de vivre, but thought it sounded too elitist. That, and it’s French).

But cheerfulness is not the same as caring. I generally find it hard to feel sad for people. And it’s not that I am completely incapable of feelings. When Chewbacca died in the novel, Vector Prime, *SPOILER ALERT* (oops… I think I did that wrong) I cried like a Bith who’s lost their kloo horn (thank you Wookiepedia). Dobby’s burial made me weep, and I sob like a schoolgirl every time I watch the first 15 minutes of Up.

So, my well of tears is not dry and I can, indeed, be driven to display emotion. But, it seems to take fictional characters to melt my heart of stone. Otherwise, I am rarely driven to anything even remotely resembling passion.

I haven’t always been such a heartless jerk. In fact, my last couple years of High School and into College, I considered myself a Romantic (in the literary sense, with the requisite capital “R”, of course). Sometime in the intervening years, my outlook has shifted. If you are familiar with the Myers-Briggs Personality Types and Keirsey Temperament Sorter, I used to be assessed as an INFJ but now usually come out as an ISTJ. There’s a big difference between NF’s and ST’s.

If you don’t feel like google-ing, I will sum it up this way: after consulting a few different lists of famous people or characters who exhibit the different personality types, I discovered that I have gone from being Gandhi to being Darth Vader. I kid you not. (Of course, from a purely objective perspective, it is probably cooler to be like the Dark Lord of the Sith than to be like Mr. Passive Resistance.)

In an effort to find my lost feelings, I will attempt to work through my emotional constipation through a series of posts. (Because blogging your innermost thoughts is not in any way a thinly-veiled attempt to seek attention).


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