This week my heart broke when I heard someone say that they do not have anything to look forward to when they wake up in the morning. It broke again when I visited with someone looking for a job and they just aren’t having any luck. And then again when I heard about a struggling friendship that has been hijacked by jealously and competition. These moments were personally difficult for me because I knew that my words would not “fix” the suffering. Since I could not “fix” things, I stayed frustrated. Then I went downhill from there…my frustration led to impatience to irritation to defeat. It wasn’t a very nice day.
Jesus said, “I have compassion for these people.” (Matthew 15:32) Compassion. That is another way to look at life’s struggles. Compassion is something that we can offer in the midst of difficult times to others. Compassion is full of mercy, understanding, presence and comfort. It is easy to communicate compassion through texts, calls, lunch dates, surprise visits, cards, and hugs. Compassion is how God draws people closer to him through us.
It is clear to me that Jesus did not come and live among us to train us to “fix” things. There are just some things that cannot be fixed. Maybe he knew that. Instead he came to show us how to live with compassion (among other things). He knew that there are days when circumstances cannot be “fixed”. On those days, he taught us to look beyond the surface and discover how to comfort the true pain a person feels. When we connect with another person on a deeper level (a spiritual level), we can unwrap the gift of compassion.
As you travel through your week, explore compassion in your life. When have you received the gift of compassion and who needs to receive the gift of compassion from you? Invite everyone in your tent to join you on this path. You will be blessed and be a blessing to others.
“They may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel.” Carl W. Buechner