“The wise have eyes in their head,
but fools walk in darkness.”
— ECCLESIASTES 2:14A (NRSV)
There is great wisdom in compassion and compassion is the underpinning of justice. God blesses only those with open eyes of the heart by the provision of wisdom, always for his purposes.
The two are synonymous – wisdom and compassion. There would be no sense in granting someone wisdom if they had no compassion, and indeed, more basically, a compassionate heart is a wise heart.
In a relational life, and this existence is inherently relational, compassion must be a qualifier for wisdom. Seen this way, we must acknowledge that wisdom is highly virtuous by character; that it’s beyond smarts, knowledge, information, or experience.
Wisdom is an integral part in holiness. Perhaps there is truth in the reverse; holiness being a significant part of a greater wisdom. There is no question, however, that wisdom has about it a compassionate strength.
Compassion – Absence of Aggression; Long on Love
If we were to interrogate compassion, and, find from within it, specimens of its furrows of goodness – to learn of its merited worthiness and to drink from its streams – and if we were able to adopt aspects of its goodness, we would be wiser.
We would be wiser because, to be a student of compassion is to open the eyes of our heart; to experience, from within ourselves, the absence of aggression and length of love.
Our Christian goal must truly be to rid ourselves of aggression, and to develop the ability to be long on love, which finds itself underpinned by all sorts of virtue like patience, kindness, and humility.
But the main contingency in striving toward such a goal is to have the eyes of our hearts opened such that we want to love and rid ourselves of aggression.
We should note, here, that aggression isn’t just overt violence, it is just as much – and more – the sort of aggression that occurs passively; the aggression that people are likely to get away with, but still wrangles within our souls.
It’s perhaps a case of the chicken and the egg – we need to love to please God and enjoy the blessings of the Christian life, but we don’t get it until we attempt to see with the eyes of our heart. Many Christians may never get it, and such is the pity, or they get it conditionally – where it’s only available in certain situations.
Our goal needs to be that we would see all of life with the eyes of our hearts opened.
We need to see all of life with the eyes of our hearts opened. Then we would have compassion. God shows us more and more when the eyes of our hearts are opened. We gain wisdom as a result.
© 2013 S. J. Wickham.