Gut Feelings

As Jesus went ashore, he saw a great crowd; and he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd, and he began to teach them many things.  Compassion is one of those extremely misunderstood words in the church.  It’s not a Hallmark, heartstring sympathy.  Compassion is a gut feeling is being utterly, totally moved.

In our culture, gut feelings usually refer to the feelings that keep us from going into the secluded gas station at midnight or giving telemarketers our personal information.  Our gut as has been conditioned to signal fear and danger.  So much so that when you say you had a “gut feeling,” it is equivalent to saying you had some kind of “warning.”

Much less often is our gut tuned to any sense of…compassion.

So what happens when our gut feelings pull us away from protecting ourselves and toward helping another?  Do we listen to those gut feelings of compassion, or do we just keep ignoring them until they finally fade away?

After being moved to compassion, Mark’s Gospel says that Jesus taught those people “many things.”  What do you think he taught them?

Could it be that this passage is calling us not to only be recipients, but givers of compassion as well?

Credit: AP Photo/Ed Andrieski

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