Jess Bousa makes a distinction in today's dare between feeling compassion and showing compassion. The earthquake ravaged people of Haiti will not have their suffering alleviated by our sense of pity for them. They will only be helped and God glorified by a compassion which moves us to action.
Recently I volunteered to teach a Bible study at a local juvenile detention center when I discovered that the boys had absolutely no spiritual encouragement at all. There was no chaplain, no church services, nothing. I was horrified, felt mercy and vowed to help them. At our first sesssion we had 12 boys, but at the next few sessions it was a struggle to get even 6 to attend. I felt that a spiritual battle was going on and heard this in my heart, "the enemy will back away from a well-armed, determined foe." I was and am determined to continue the study even if it only feeds one boy. It is that kind of determination that can only come from God.
There are some things that will kill mercy for others as it rises up in us. We get stifled before we get the chance to act on the compassion we feel. Distractions can kill mercy, or selfishness, or a sense that someone else will take care of it, or that the benefit is not worth the cost. The world needs a determined, Christ-originated mercy that will not be waylaid.
"I was naked and you clothed me; I was sick and you visited me; I was in prison and you came to me." Matthew 25:36