Ships were not built
to float safely in the harbor.
Step out of my comfort zone?
...receive *gulp* compassion?
...receive *gulp* compassion?
It’s not as easy as it looks,
and it doesn’t always turn out like I think it should.
a feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering.
The nurse’s aide assisted the elderly woman to the commode, giving support as needed. When she was able to manage on her own, the helper turned her back for a few moments until her services were needed once again. After being tucked into her bed, the frail woman looked tenderly into her helper’s eyes. “You’re the only one who has ever turned away… Thank you.”
Living in an elderly care facility, receiving a medical exam, or being hospitalized; these unfortunately initiate a variety of awkward situations and invasions of personal space. The nurse’s assistant imagined herself in a similar circumstance, receiving respectful and courteous care. Her simple act of compassion toward preserving the dignity of another carried significance for both of them.
Elements of shame in the face of compassion invited response, but could not insist upon a happy ending. Yet in the wake of obedience, they both can trust the Author of compassion to bring honor and joy to their shared interaction.
The man was not caught off guard by attitudes of apathy or expressions of anger. Instead, he saw unique abilities and potential for a bright future hidden behind the dull, despondent eyes of the boy who was soon to be a man. Their tutoring sessions provided more than academic assistance. The man had walked in shoes of the same color not too many years before, paving the way for empathy to connect their hearts.
Elements of regret in the face of compassion invited response, but could not insist upon a happy ending. Yet in the wake of obedience, they both can trust the Author of compassion to bring inspiration and trust to their relationship.
She did not desire to create hurt feelings, yet her friend’s persistent questions could no longer allow her to evade sharing what she knew to be true. After seeking godly counsel and spending time in prayer, she relayed to her friend some reservations she had in regard to their relationship which she knew would not be easy for her friend to receive. The risk of rejection loomed nearby in the shadow of their awkward encounter. She knew potential existed for formation of a deeper relationship, for she understood how difficult it was to receive correction herself.
Elements of risk in the face of compassion prompted response, but could not insist upon a happy ending. Yet in the wake of obedience, they both can trust the Author of compassion to bring healing and newness to their friendship.
The waitress made her rounds warming cups of freshly brewed coffee, tossing bits of conversation here, teasing and laughter there. “You look like you could use a nap, darlin’. Why don’t y’all stretch out on that booth there and catch a few winks”, and to another; “You ain’t up to drivin’ home, sweet pea’. I’ll be getting’ off work here pretty soon; I can take ya’ home. You want cream and sugar, hun’?”
The young college student took a seat a few tables over from where the homeless man sat with hands cradling a steaming cup. Pulling paper and pen from his jacket pocket, he sketched the man’s likeness. Then striking up a conversation about the weather, it wasn’t long before stories began to flow; tales of the good old days, a career gone awry, memories of Vietnam. “What’s that y’ got there, son?”
Unfolding the sketch, he handed it to the man. A broad grin set eyes to twinkling, “Well now, would ya’ lookie there. That’s me, ain’t it! Hey Emma, c’mon over here a minute!”
Self-respect, confidence, feelings of value, an optimistic future; each one is apt to be illusive on any given day. The burdens of some weigh more heavily, stealing joy and clouding hope. We all are needy, and we all need to be needed. Simple touches of compassion can trigger reminders of worth, of hope for a new day, and expose a cloud’s silver lining.
Elements of the unknown in the face of compassion invited response, but could not insist upon a happy ending. Yet in the wake of obedience, they can trust the Author of compassion to bring courage and perspective to their newfound acquaintance.
compelling desire; intense fervor; powerful emotion or feeling
Galadriel, also bearing a ring of power, experienced tremendous struggle but did not yield to its enticement. “You are the bearer of the ring. This task was appointed to you. And if you do not find a way, no one will.”1
Her words of encouragement to Frodo were spoken from her heart of compassion, for they shared a common compelling desire, a mutual passion….
1(Lord of the Rings, by J.R.R. Tolkien)
“The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease,
for His compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is Your faithfulness.”