Art by Jeanne Leigh Denton
Presently, I serve a small church inThis past Sunday I spoke about the two sides of compassion, although I know there are many more. Sharing from the gospel of Mark I spoke of how Jesus backed his compassion with action. He did something to help those who suffered. We are to follow that example. Then of course there is another side of compassion. Those times when we truly have done all we can do and the suffering remains. We feel so helpless and uncomfortable in the presence of those who are sick or suffering with mental illness, physical pain, addiction, etc. It is in those times that we must pray for wisdom and trust in what God is doing.
as a part-time
So, just as we are called to put our words, beliefs and faith into action, when we have done all we can do, we are then called to continue to express our faith by standing with and supporting “those that suffer.” If possible, we must find a way to walk with them through this.
I’d like to end with a quote by Henri Nouwen that makes a wonderful point concerning these situations. He says,
“Let us not underestimate how hard it is to be compassionate. Compassion is hard because it requires the inner disposition to go with others to a place where they are weak, vulnerable, lonely, and broken. But this is not our spontaneous response to suffering. What we desire most is to do away with suffering by fleeing from it or finding a quick cure for it.”
So, I pray we can learn more each day about doing for and being with those who are weak, vulnerable, lonely and broken. Let us practice being a loving and healing presence, and a light, especially in those times that we do not see them experiencing a cure, or when their problems are not solved, or their suffering does not ease. May we be mindful that we know that our God holds them even in this and be a witness to them of this very fact.
Thanks for stopping by! Til next time...Peace, Jeanne Leigh