Gregory Peck

A friend told me recently,

This is a season of small things. Starting out small. I came to San Diego with a small amount of money, with a lot of stuff jammed into a small space (Sheila the Shaggin Wagon), with a *small* part-time job and a small church….

with rather large hopes and dreams and desires. It’s a season of small things and I will be content in it. Lord, help me.

I was at church yesterday morning and something Pastor Pete said made a lot of sense. He brought up sympathy and compassion. Now, sympathy is a card. Maybe it’s a Hallmark card, but it’s still a card. Sympathy says, “I’m sorry”. Compassion is different. Compassion says, “You hurt? Then I hurt too. Let me do something about that”. When Jesus lived on the earth he lived with a compassion for all. He didn’t have time for sympathy. Rather, he didn’t make time for it.

I thought about myself this morning. When people enter my life and they hurt, do I hurt too? Is my head too far up my ass to notice what they’re going through?

I thought about certain people who have come and gone and I wondered if they looked at me with compassion or sympathy. I realized, I don’t want either. Is it that I don’t want to be loved with the love of the Lord? Absolutely not. But now, that the year is almost over, and I’ve become numb from life, and my heart begins to thaw again (in winter of all times..), I realize the love I need. A strong love. A love that’s intentional.

The easiest picture I can think of to describe the word “intentional” would be this. You’re sitting in the living room and your family decides to order a pizza for dinner. The pizza comes and you’re delighted. You get off the couch and grab yourself a piece and then return to the couch. After a few minutes you realize that hell–one slice of pizza was just not enough. So what do you do? You get off the couch again and with clear intentions return to the beloved box of pizza and grab another slice (or four, if you’re me).

I was watching Roman Holiday yesterday after I got back from church. I hadn’t seen it in years and I forgot how great it is. I was watching Gregory Peck and how, at the end of the movie he’s separated from the woman he loves. She’s a princess. He’s a journalist. He has the power to ruin her with the pictures he took of them together the day before, but instead of getting off with that, he gives the pictures to the princess and refuses to hurt her with them.

The last scene of the movie is Gregory Peck standing in a room by himself, strutting with his hands in his pockets and a smile on his face. He looks over his shoulder, reminiscing about the woman he used to know, looks forward….

and moves on.

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