If we say and believe ourselves to be a compassionate person, then do our actions show that?
Will we slow down and nurture the people God has put into our lives, or will we keep viewing life myopically--like we are the only people that matter? That our needs come before others?
I know this is a challenge in our own homes, with our own children. Never ending housework, never ending chores and to-do lists threaten our connection with our own children.
It takes constant thought to put down what I am doing to connect with my child.
In the same way we are busy with our own families, we can also neglect others that the Lord has put in our path. Just yesterday I had to tell my own daughter "no" to something so I could help a friend. These kind of decisions are not easy to make. But it's only in close relationship with the Lord do I see what my role should be in ministering to others. ('others' includes my own family, as well as other in my church, circle of friends, in my everyday life...) There is a careful balance that must be met, for dipping too far to the left or right is not necessarily the right path. In fact, I even believe, as mothers, we can be so proud of our work inside the home that we forget to be humble and let the Lord lead where He may be taking us. We can be too busy "reading our Bible" that we forget to minister to someone the Lord is telling us to minister to. It doesn't have to just be housework that holds us back.
I love this quote by Dietrich Bonhoeffer in his classic book Life Together:
"We must be ready to allow ourselves to be interrupted by God. God will be constantly crossing our paths and canceling our plans by sending us people with claims and petitions. We may pass them by, preoccupied with our more important tasks, as the priest passed by the man who had fallen among thieves, perhaps--reading the Bible. When we do that we pass by the visible sign of the Cross raised athwart our path to show us that, not our way, but God's way must be done. It is a strange fact that Christians and even ministers (and mothers! ~Andrea) frequently consider their work so important and urgent that they will allow nothing to disturb them. They think they are doing God a service in this, but actually they are disdaining God's "crooked yet straight path" (Gottfried Arnold). They do not want a life that is crossed and balked. But it is part of the discipline of humility that we must not spare our hand where it can perform a service and that we do not assume that our schedule is our own to manage, but allow it to be arranged by God."