When the Lord saw her, his heart overflowed with compassion.
He was walking in and she was walking out. That simple fact rearranged her world. Her story is recorded in Luke 7 of the Bible, and it never ceases to move me to tears. It’s one of the most compelling examples of compassion in action that this world has ever seen. While He was Jesus, the living breathing Son of God who was somehow walking around planet Earth on a pair of human legs, the Bible simply refers to her as The Widow of Nain.
When the Bible says He “saw” her, it implies that He knew her pain like in such a way that He actually experienced it Himself. That’s powerful! And the word “compassion” doesn’t mean he just felt sorry for her. It’s from the Greek, meaning to have the bowls yearn, to feel sympathy, to pity, to be moved with compassion.
As I’ve read and listened to your beautiful responses to my last blog post, Legacies in the Making, I was reminded of her story. Thank you for reminding me of Jesus. He is our premier example of what it means to truly care for another. Just as He walked over to the coffin of the Widow’s son and miraculously brought him back to life, He sees our painful situations today and moves to resurrect hope within us. And, since He’s turned in His human arms and legs, He’s allowing you and I to be His hands and feet to others.
Thank you for all the ways you’re touching the lives of those around you. May we be so cognizant of God’s overflowing love and compassion for us that we can’t possibly keep it for ourselves! May we be compelled to extravagantly pour it out on someone else. You’ve inspired me this week. Thanks for sharing your stories with me. Keep ‘em coming. A girl can never have too much inspiration!
What is the kindest act of compassion someone has shown you?
Who do you know that needs you to be God’s hands and feet today? What can you do?
 Strong’s Greek and Hebrew Dictionary, PC Study Bible, CD ROM (Seattle, Wash.: Biblesoft, 1997).
For more on the Widow of Nain’s encounter with Jesus, see the Bible’s Luke 7 or my book, Sharing His Secrets: Intimate Insights From the Women Who Knew Jesus (Multnomah Publishers, 2001), p 34-55.