I don’t think anyone communicates this better than Henri…
“Jesus’ whole life and mission involve accepting powerlessness and revealing in this powerlessness the limitlessness of God’s love. Here we see what compassion means. It is not a bending toward the underprivileged from a privileged position; it is not a reaching out from on high to those who are less fortunate below; it is not a gesture of sympathy or pity for those who fail to make it in the upward pull. On the contrary, compassion means going directly to those people and places where suffering is most acute and building a home there.
God’s compassion is total, absolute, unconditional, without reservation. It is the compassion of the one who keeps going to the most forgotten corners of the world, and who cannot rest as long as he knows that there are still human beings with tears in their eyes. It is the compassion of a God who does not merely act as a servant, but whose servanthood is a direct expression of his divinity.
:: Henri Nouwen ::
To go and be with them. To make our home with them. That is compassion.
“Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel, which means ‘God is with us.'”
:: Matthew 1:23 ::
Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant,being born in the likeness of men.
:: Phillipians 2:5-7 ::
And in sitting with other image bearers, in holding ourselves as nothing knowing that He is our all, we come to know Him better. This God with us, this source of our compassion, He reveals Himself in our obedience. Obedience means being moved by compassion for those around us. So, really, it’s a win, win when we obey.