Saturday, September 28, 2013

Compassion

A middle aged man wrote garbled scribbles on an old chalk board, stopping ever so briefly to adjust his glasses or interrupt his own thoughts with yet a better one than the one he almost finished...

Empassioned--if that is a word-- was the only way to describe this man, his cause, this event..

What posed as a boring title "community analysis"..  really? that's the best you could do for a title? kind of workshop-- was a blaze of scribbles, ideas, passion, and compassion for the lost.

And for the first time, Doc. Fuder elucidated what was meant by "compassion" in such concrete ways that I'm not sure I'll ever be the same.  Lest I forget what I learned, I have to write..now before I forget.. what this looks like.

For years, I've equated compassion with sympathy.  And quite honestly, I've always hated sympathy, except in extreme cases.. but really.. sympathy has never been my thing.  What I mean by that... is listening to someone drone on and on about a problem they have for which they have no desire to make any changes.. Yes, that requires sympathy.. but not compassion.

But compassion is like putting the shoe leather on love.  It's willing to be: humble, broken, weak, and vulnerable.  It looks like chaos, and it is.
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A while back, I was in a very difficult situation-- one of those situations you just don't blog about.. cuz you just don't.  

The short of it is this.  I made myself vulnerable and I was taken advantage of.  I made myself weak and the strong overtook me.  I tried to be humble and it was viewed as pride.  And when I was confronted-- yes.. I was brought before a "jury" and "tried"...  my weaknesses and whatever pride was left in me were brought to trial and dealt with.  This entire ordeal -- resulted in  pure chaos and confusion in my heart.  

And the question I've been asking myself for several months is: if I could do it over again, would I do anything differently?  Would I have changed something to protect my vulnerability?   And I am happy to say: No.

Love requires risk.  Love requires true vulnerability.  I did what I did because of who I am; not because of who they are or aren't.  The hurt and the tears and the broken trust are all worth it because of the amount of compassion I currently feel.

No I don't have sympathy on myself any more.  I used to, and that is why I could not write.  Wallowing in something and wanting to garnish sympathy for your own hurts may be someone's way of blogging, but it hasn't been my practice.  No.  I can not write about it until the matter is settled in my mind.. to some degree.. at least.

And something crazy happened.  I started to feel (genuinely feel) compassion for my attackers.

It was during this week, even before Doc. Fuder was giving his talk.  But it was confirmed that this was really from God, and that he was at work in my heart--doing exactly what he planned all along.

We do not stop loving just because the people who we are trying to love are crazy and oppose themselves.

 I admit, it's hard to hug a porcupine.

But then again,

 my quills are still kind of pointy too. 

4 comments:

gabisunshine said...

I needed these words today. I'm glad God is working good out of your troubled situation, and that you're sharing your lessons with the rest of us. Bug hugs.

Bernadette Veenstra said...

My blogging mentor told me that sometimes I will never be able to blog about the really hard things I am going through because they involve too many other people. And I truly have no desire to hurt anyone, least of all intentionally or unintentionally, through my blog. But, this wise woman told me that I could blog about what God is teaching me through my circumstances. The comfort, the kicks in the butt...all that kind of stuff.=)

AnnCecelia said...

Heaven will sort it all out. Reminds me of that old song, "nobody knows the trouble I've seen.

AnnCecelia said...

Heaven will sort it all out. Reminds me of that old song, "nobody knows the trouble I've seen.