com·pas·sion [kəm pásh'n]
n. sympathy: sympathy for the suffering of others, often including a desire to help
I am going through a good exercise right now on using compassion. My Sister-In-Law (SIL) and her 2 boys will be staying with us through the end of this week. Her live in boyfriend of the last 14 months broke up with her Wednesday to go back to an ex-girlfriend. SIL is devastated to say the least. He did say that she could stay at the apartment until she moves into her own(which is upstairs from his mother?). She is hurting. And as much as she and her 2 boys drive me CRAZY I felt it was the right thing to do bringing her here. It gets her away from the situation and helps her to think straight. She is thinking out emotions right now.
Compassion....I don't know about you but I know for myself that it is sometimes...no alot of times, easier to show it to a stranger than a family member. I think it is the "baggage" we bring along with it. With a stranger, you are just dealing with the here and now. With family you know this person, all the things that drive you nuts, the mistakes they have made (and NOT learned from) and you think to yourself--here we go again.
But could you image what it would be like if God did that to us!!! How many times have we messed up and we don't deserve the grace, mercy and compassion but God gives it to us. Image if He was up there saying-- Again? You messed up Again? A friend of mine put it so nicely to me yesterday "Judy, you are her Bible right now. She is seeing the Bible through you. She is seeing God through you." How true! What would it saying about me and about being a Christian if I were to turn my back on her right now.
Yesterday I brought her boys with me to church (no room in the van for her). After church she ran with me to the grocery store. While out she asked me if her boys behaved in church. I told her they were fine, just a little antsy (which most kids are, especially if they have had limited exposure to it). She told me that she thinks she and the boys will start going with me.
We had a great conversation on "Love" the other day. SIL was saying she asked her boyfriend (now ex) "tell me you don't love me." He said he couldn't. She then asked him "then tell me you are not in love with me." Again nothing from him. This started the conversation. I had to ask....."what is the difference with loving someone and being in love with someone?" She gave me some lame definition that is so common to the culture we live in. I told her love is not an emotion it is a decision you make. Anyone that has been married for any amount of time (almost 17 years here) can tell you that you don't always feel all mushy, lovey-dovey with the person every day! No one would be married if we let our emotions dictate. Love is not always an easy thing (love is patient, love is kind---not always an easy thing to do). Our culture runs on the emotions of love not the commitment of love. Movies today will try to make you think that you can meet someone and by the end of the week be head-over-heals in love with them. NOT!!!! I would lay down my life for my husband (and I know he would for me). Can you say that about someone you met on Monday and it is now Saturday and you "love" them. I think not!! Our culture is "I will love you until someone better comes along or until it no longer feels good". BTW, when I say our culture, I am talking about the American culture in general.
So please keep me in your prayers.