Wikipedia: Compassion is a human emotion prompted by the pain of others. More vigorous than empathy, the feeling commonly gives rise to an active desire to alleviate another's suffering. ...the so-called Golden Rule embod(ies) by implication the principle of compassion: Do to others what you would have them do to you.
Two Sundays ago our pastor preached a sermon on compassion. I was in a mood that day, believing that the worship/sermon didn't really speak to me. That afternoon I joked with my husband that compassion wasn't my "gift" and that I liked my attitude of "buck up and deal with it!"
In the message Pastor explained that the way God grows compassion within you is to give you troubles, based upon the following verses:
2 Corinthians 1:3-4 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.
As I was joking with Mark, I said, "So you know, since I'm sure compassion isn't for me that trouble is heading our way!" Within 6 hours my grandmother was dead.
Mark and I haven't spoken about my cavalier attitude, but, as you can imagine, the Lord has.
When we lose a loved-one it is always hard. My grandma and I were very close. I have cried every day since her passing. I will miss her beyond what I can describe to you. I realize that everyone else is busy with life and that we can't expect an out-pouring of love that could cover our grief. There would never be enough. However, I am amazed at who steps up to comfort at a time like this and who doesn't. I've tried to be mentally gracious to those who haven't expressed any heartfelt sympathy, realizing that I was one of those people just days ago.
I write this post today, not to sermonize or make anyone feel guilty, but to capture that moment when I realized how important a card, phone call, dish dropped by, a prayer, or even an electronic message of sympathy means to the one who is grieving. Just to know that someone is thinking about you when you can think of nothing but your loss. That's compassion and I needed to grow in it.
Although I miss my grandmother, I'm thankful for the timely sermon that will stay with me. If I can't take a little time to show compassion to those who are hurting, then how will they truly see God's love in me?