FreerangeFriday: The Harvest of Compassion

by Lilly Lewin
garden wheelbarrow

by Lilly Lewin

It’s a brand new month! And the beginning of many new things… a new season, new school year, a new calendar page! Maybe you aren’t feeling the newness. Maybe you feel stuck somewhere back in May. Maybe you feel stuck somewhere in 2019! I had to look back through my photos today to remember if something took place in 2021 or 2022! and I realized just how much has happened in the last couple of years! I am finding that I really need to practice self-compassion!

I need to remember the compassion of Jesus. I need the reminder that our God is a God of compassion.

So however you’re feeling today at the start of September, PAUSE, TAKE A BREATH, and BREATHE in DEEPLY the great compassion of God. 

READ the Scriptures…

1 Hear me, Lord, and answer me, for I am poor and needy.

2 Guard my life, for I am faithful to you; save your servant who trusts in you.

You are my God; 3 have mercy on me, Lord, for I call to you all day long.

4 Bring joy to your servant, Lord, for I put my trust in you.

5 You, Lord, are forgiving and good, abounding in love to all who call to you.

6 Hear my prayer, Lord; listen to my cry for mercy.

7 When I am in distress, I call to you, because you answer me.

8 Among the gods there is none like you, Lord; no deeds can compare with yours.

9 All the nations you have made
will come and worship before you, Lord; they will bring glory to your name.

10 For you are great and do marvelous deeds; you alone are God.

11 Teach me your way, Lord,
that I may rely on your faithfulness;

give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name.

12 I will praise you, Lord my God, with all my heart; I will glorify your name forever.

13 For great is your love toward me;
you have delivered me from the depths, from the realm of the dead.

MATTHEW 14:13-21 NIV

When Jesus heard what had happened, he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place. Hearing of this, the crowds followed him on foot from the towns. 14 When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick.

As evening approached, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food.”

Jesus replied, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.” 17 “We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered.

“Bring them here to me,” he said. 19 And he directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over.  The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children.

Feeding the 5000 JAMES TISSOT

Miracle of the Loaves and Fishes by JAMES TISSOT



What is God’s Word for you today? What is God speaking you about today through these passages?
Use the psalm and/or the Gospel passage as your inspiration. Write, Journal, or create in Art, or Just BE with Jesus. Allow the Holy Spirit to inspire you! Feel free to use these questions the rest of the week.

  • What is God, the Holy Spirit speaking to you about today?
  • What do you notice that you haven’t noticed before?
  • What questions come up for you from this passage?
  • What part of this story do you relate to in your life right now?
  • Jesus was trying to get away from the crowds.Trying to retreat. His plans got interrupted. How have you needed to get away recently? Maybe, like Jesus, your plans have been interrupted by the needs of others, or the needs of the crowd. Talk to Jesus about this. How can you put time and space in your schedule in the weeks ahead to have time to retreat, time to process.
  • Jesus doesn’t get mad at the interruption. Instead he has compassion on the crowd. How do you deal with interruptions?
  • What is your definition of compassion? What helps you have compassion for other people?
  • Why is it so hard to show compassion for yourself?
  • How can you allow Jesus to have compassion on you or how can you RECEIVE COMPASSION from Jesus and provide what you need just like he did the people in this passage?
  • The people in this passage were hungry and needed food. What are you hungry for today?
  • What do you need to bring to Jesus to have him multiply it?

In Matthew 9:35-38, Jesus also has compassion on the crowds.

Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. 36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. 38 Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”

I’ve been working through Joyce Rupp’s Book Boundless Compassion

Joyce Rupp says there are FOUR SEEDS OF COMPASSION… Four Spiritual qualities necessary for compassion’s growth:





Which one do you need  more of right now?

“ The Four Seeds/ Spiritual Qualities of Compassion ….The more the seeds are nurtured, the better the harvest of compassion. Enlivening these four aspects requires deliberate practice, interior stamina, and trust in the power of the Holy One to assist in their development.” Joyce Rupp


“Compassion can never coexist with judgement because judgement creates distance and distinction, which prevents from really being with the other” Henri Nouwen

veg 1

Since this is a season of Gardens, a season of harvesting, what does God want to harvest in you in this new season?
What does Jesus want to grow in you in the new season ahead?
GRAB A VEGETABLE ( or a Piece of Fruit) Consider the seeds. Consider all that went into the planting and harvesting of this produce. Thank Jesus for all the people (maybe yourself) who helped get this food to you!
When you wash a vegetable, pick one from your garden, see them in the store, or eat them for dinner, consider what Jesus is harvesting and ask him to show you!
Pick one if the ” compassion seeds”  and ask God to grow this in you in the days ahead!
You might pick one for each week between now and October.

God of us to receive the abundance of your love. Help us to receive your gift of compassion for ourselves so that we may be more compassionate to others.  In Jesus Name. Amen

James Tissot Painting

©lillylewin and

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