I’ve often waited in a good hour of highway traffic only to find it was due to a gapers’ delay. Miles of traffic, stretched as a crawling snake along the interstate—and all because people want to pause and look at someone else’s tragedy. What is it that draws us to the scene?
It may be that our attention is caught by the spectacle of material brevity. We see firsthand a truth long suppressed—that those things that so hold our affections could be destroyed in an instant. Beyond that is the harsh reminder of how fragile life is. We gaze at the accident site with a vague awareness it could happen to us, along with a fleeting hope we’ll be the ones to escape such a fate.
Layered beneath it all may be a degree of genuine concern. We wonder what happened, how it happened, and if those involved are okay. If we remember, we’ll check the news for updates later that day before resuming life as usual.
Our attitudes under such circumstances may translate to how we react to the tragedies we encounter in daily life. We pause, we gaze, we feel a tinge of concern…and we move on. As long as it doesn’t affect us, we’re only slightly moved, though in the end unchanged.
Love is more than gapers’ emotion. It’s not a fleeting concern or a passing feeling. It’s not drive-by sensitivity. Love doesn’t just pause. It stops. It feels deeply. And it acts.
First responders are those who demonstrate love in action—caring enough to meet the need, as in the parable of the Good Samaritan. A man lay beaten and dying on the road as people passed him by, unmoved. Only one stopped to help, investing his time, his resources, and his very life to meet the need.
God, I don’t want my love to be a fleeting emotion. I want to feel deeply, to the point I am moved to action, whatever the cost. Give me this kind of love—a true love, filled with compassion.
True Love…is COMPASSIONATE (Day 41, #50ShadesOfTrueLove)