Thoughts swirl in my head: “There’s so much pain in the world.” … “The needs are overwhelming.” … “Loneliness is everywhere.” … “People are craving to be cared for.” … “Disease, addictions, crime, sadness, all around me.” … “I want to reach out. I want to make a difference. But will my tiny efforts do any good at all?” A voice screams between my ears. I sometimes feel driven to the point of madness.
I’ll bet some of you relate. If so, at least we’re in good company, as portions of the life of Jesus bear similarities.
The Son of God was compelled by compassion to heal the sick, spend time with outcasts, forgive sinners and criminals. As a result, he was rarely free from crowds of desperate individuals clamoring for his attention. Family and friends had quite the reaction: “He’s out of his mind,” they said. “He’s beside himself.” (Mark 3) In a sense, they might have been right.
It’s true and it’s been that way for a long time: Loving our neighbor can make us crazy.