When the movie, Avatar, came out, I was so excited to see it because the CGI was so great! There are many mixed reviews about this movie, but I really like it. The movie is basically about an alien race (humans) going to another planet and learning the culture of another race by quite literally becoming one of them.
When two people of their culture are interacting with one another, it is the expectation that they will say to each other, "I see you," which means "I recognize your importance as a person, I am fully present with you, and you have my attention."
So much of the time, I think we fail to see one another. Yesterday, we heard about compassion. Compassion is different than pity, sympathy, and even empathy. If we see someone on the street holding a cardboard sign, and we do not turn away, we might pity them. The next level up is sympathy. Sympathy is feeling bad about or sorry for the person. Empathy is feeling that person's pain as your own. However, compassion is where action comes into play. Compassion means doing something about what we see. In our scripture yesterday morning, we saw that Christ had compassion upon the people. When people had been following Jesus on foot for him to heal their sick, He had compassion on them. After a while, his disciples wanted to send them back to their houses so that they could take care of themselves (get food, etc).
Again, Jesus had compassion on them. It would seem that the disciples were being responsible. People need care. They need food. They need rest. The disciples recognized this and wanted to send the people away. Jesus again had compassion on the people and told his disciples to give them something to eat. You may be familiar with the story. The disciples only had with them five loaves of bread and two fish. They gave it to Jesus and Jesus gave thanks and broke the bread. The disciples handed out food to everyone that day. In biblical times, it was common to only count the male in the crowd. So, there were probably 5,000 men there, plus women and children, which maybe have been in the upper realm of 20,000 people.
There are two things that Jesus does. Jesus sees you. He sees your importance as a person and is fully present with you. Jesus also has compassion on you. In order for us to be followers of Christ, we have to do the same thing. We have to recognize that each person has dignity because they are a person who is created by God. Then, we have to have compassion on people as well.
When we feel like our faith is not very strong, more than likely, we need to interact with another human being and have compassion. We should never let our faith get bored; faith needs something to do. Having compassion for another human being is having compassion for God. When we encounter another human being, we encounter God.
Build your faith. See another person.