Longing for Toronto the good

Why is compassion so compelling? Because it’s a rare response.

In the wake of extreme and sudden, random terror – TORONTO THE GOOD showed its compassion.

The saying hasn’t been used for a very long time, but the Toronto attack displayed an unprecedented response from a well-trained cop that’s worth talking about.

The dramatic video taken on the scene of the Toronto van attack shows a police officer keeping his cool in a standoff and quick arrest of the suspect responsible for the death of 10 innocent people. Despite the suspect provoking the officer by yelling “shoot me” and drawing a weapon, the officer didn’t shoot. Instead, he apprehended the suspect unharmed.

The story of this calm response by the officer has garnered attention…because it’s so unusual to see. Was it proper training? Yes, but no one would have thought twice if the officer pulled the trigger.  Compassion is compelling because it’s rare.  It can be hard to show compassion to people in circumstances far less dramatic. We’re guilty of treating people with little compassion in far more trivial circumstances. “They cut me off, I didn’t like the what they said about me online, they milked the system, they deserved it.”

Compassion asks the question, “How does Jesus see this person?” and “What is this life worth?” Compassion does not repay evil for evil. Compassion can change the story and tell a better one.

Compassion shows the heart of God.

It will be tempting in the coming weeks and months following the Toronto attack to respond with hate.  But our roots are “Toronto The Good.” And now, more than ever, we have an opportunity to live up to our name. Compassion is rare, but it’s good.

Our hearts go out to all the victims and their loved ones, the first responders, spiritual responders, witnesses, and the people who will walk the long road to healing.