Margin for Compassion

“You can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him.” Johann Wolfgang Van Goethe

I just watched a video that I will post below that is driving the idea behind this blog. It was a social experiment that was deliberately planned and I witnessed an unplanned one that involved my daughter last week. The start of it was a jolting, weeping call that Tessa had just been in an accident. She was driving to school and had even left early that morning  and then before I knew it, I was racing to the scene of an accident.  A young driver had lost control of her vehicle on the freeway and instead of hitting the overpass she swung right in front of Tessa’s car, leaving Tessa no choice but to crash into the passenger side of the girl’s car. Praying frantically for them and for Tessa’s unborn baby, I arrived to find them still in the middle of the freeway. Tessa had never been in an accident before and unfortunately the other girl had experience in this and so I quickly told them to see if the cars would start and pull them over to the side of the road. As things started to sort out and information was exchanged I listened to how it had happened, I witnessed several people either honk or yell, shaking their fists as they went screaming by in their vehicles. Now initially I was giving them the benefit of the doubt since the damage from the accident was not visible, but as this happened more than once, I was shocked and heartbroken. I thought do they seriously think that 3 women with 3 vehicles would just stop on a busy freeway and have a hen party? One woman had slowed previous to me arriving and yelled, did you call the police? but not one person stopped to see if they were ok. Ok granted, they were able to get out of their vehicles and walk and I know I have a vested interest in this, but still do you hear me? My husband suggested later as we relayed this story that people just don’t have margin in their lives. There is no room to slow down or stop rushing here and there because we are late,  we are late for a very important date.  I think he has a good point and it is frightening isn’t it?

Perhaps people were quick to judge what they saw because it seemed inconvenient to them, this lack of margin also can create selfishness. Margin is defined as an amount allowed or available beyond what is actually necessary, as in margin for error or in this case, time and/or compassion. I don’t stand in judgment of these people, it was merely an observation of behaviour. I don’t know their stories and they really could have had their own emergencies but the ones that made me ponder the most were the classmates Tessa had who had witnessed her dilemma and continued to drive to school letting the teacher know she would likely be late. Now have I been guilty of this same type of behaviour, Absolutely and I am not proud to admit it but this situation and the video caused me to pause a minute. Why are we rushing to and fro, possibly missing opportunities to extend God’s love to others? My friend and I have kind of adopted and are trying to live by the words that life is not an emergency. Things do not need to happen or be resolved immediately. God’s best is often shunted for a quick fix or impatience. Jesus did not rush about willy nilly trying to accomplish God’s will or put band aids on situations that had deeper roots. When the crowds pressed in, Jesus often retreated to pray and get direction from the Father. “But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.” Luke 5:16 

I think it is best said by the following quote. Please take a few minutes and watch the video and dig deep into your heart, then take time to listen, perhaps repent and ask God what does He want  to say in your next hours, days, life…He loves you So much and is waiting…

We would be better Christians if we spent more time alone, and we would actually accomplish more if we attempted less and spent more time in isolation and quiet waiting upon God. The world has become too much a part of us, and we are afflicted with the idea that we are not accomplishing anything unless we are always busily running back and forth. We no longer believe in the importance of a calm retreat where we sit silently in the shade. As the people of God, we have become entirely too practical. We believe in having “all our irons in the fire” and that all the time we spend away from the anvil or fire is wasted time. Yet our time is never more profitably spent than when we set aside time for quiet meditation, talking with God, and looking up to heaven. We can never have too many of these open spaces in life-hours set aside when our soul is completely open and accessible to any heavenly thought or influence that God may be pleased to send our way. (Mrs. Charles Cowman)

PS. The girls and the baby are fine, waiting on the car.