Sometimes I feel conflicted between what I consider to be genuine compassion and desire to help another person, and sticking my nose where it doesn’t belong.
I sympathize with Miss Molly Stark from Owen Wister’s “The Virginian” who confessed to a friend :
“I know I’m white livered, I never crowd and stare when somebody is hurt in the street. I get away.”
To the which her friend replied “ staring ain’t courage; it’s trashy curiosity” (p. 237).
I admit that I like to see everyone at their best and can at times feel uncomfortable when unhappy events occur. I feel like I would want to just be left alone to wallow in self pity and I assume that everyone else feels the same. I don’t feel like I have the right to intrude on the intimate heartaches of another person.
And it’s true that I don’t have the right to pry open the chest of their heart and spread the contents out to everyone around me. I don’t have that right, but that doesn’t leave me free of obligations. I am a Christian. I was baptized into Christ’s fold and I call myself a “latter day saint”. If I am striving to be a saint than I need to helping my brothers and sisters that surround me. I don’t need to know their life history to decide to love them and help where I see the need.
Paul suggested to the Romans- whom he also called saints (Romans 15:31)- that they didn’t need to spend their time debating what was good or bad about their neighbor (Romans 14:1-13). Instead they should “be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits” (Romans 12:16).
I guess what I’m getting around to is I’m going to stop worrying about whether or not it’s my place. If I really am a disciple of Christ than it is always my place to love and help out a fellow wandered.