Saturday, November 1, 2008

Compassion -- Hope Chronicles 75

The last few days at work have been tedious. Sales have been very slow. The store very quiet. I think I much prefer a little hustle and bustle to the place. I've found myself looking for projects that need to be done.

The other thing I have noticed the last couple of days is that everyone seems on edge for a variety of reasons. Someone doesn't feel well. Someone else had an argument with their wfe. Someone said they haven't been sleeping well. I'm not sure what the other reasons are, but it feels like a grumpy lot! By the end of the day, I find myself getting a little grumpy too.

There is one person in particular who rubs me the wrong way. It isn't one big thing. It's lots of little things like redoing something I've done because they don't like the way I did it or not responding to a "Good morning" and generally just being prickly.

I was complaining (not a great thing I know) once to Julie, my counselor, about someone awhile back. She said, "I've found that the people who grate on me the most are the ones I most need to have compassion on."

I've been thinking about it the last couple of hours. I think Julie is right. But what does it mean to have compassion on someone? I looked it up online at It said, "Deep awareness of the suffering of another coupled with the wish to relieve it." That was humbling to read.

I think it fits biblically. In the gospels, when Jesus feeds the 5,000 it says that he had compassion on them for they were like sheep without a shepherd. He understood their plight. He deeply desired to address it. In fact, that is why he came -- to be the Good Shepherd!

Questions for myself:

  1. How can I be more aware of the suffering of those around me?
  2. How can I cultivate a desire to relieve that suffering?
  3. In what small ways can I daily demonstrate compassion?

Me in the background
with my younger sister
on my grandparents, farm in OH.

Laura Story has a song out called "Mighty to Save" that says, "Everyone needs compassion. A love that's never failing. Let mercy fall on me." When we demonstrate compassion, we give others hope. After Renee encouraged people to "Bless it Forward" I went into work with a new attitude, determined to bless the person I was struggling so much with. I sincerely complimented her three times. By the end of the evening, we were actually laughing together.


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