Thursday, July 24, 2014

Day #204

July 23, 2014

Yesterday I posted: people never truly understanding something until it happens to them. What initially came to mind from that statement was that our lack of understanding is perhaps a good reason to leave the judging to God.

As often happens, this then came up in conversation today, but with a slightly different slant. What may be just as important as not judging is having compassion. When something happens to us, we can better understand what the experience feels like, realize what is helpful to hear, and certainly know what is NOT helpful.

Henri Nouwen wrote about this in “The Wounded Healer,” (although a quick Google indicates Carl Jung coined the phrase). The point being, those who have walked a certain path can be compelled to show compassion to those now walking a similar one, keeping in mind we can never experience something exactly the same way as another person does (hence the need to avoid, “I know exactly how you feel…” We don’t!). And with that, the hope that we would stop and think about what we are about to say before we say it, showing compassion to others who may be experiencing something, but keeping it to themselves. We never really know what someone else is going through.

The Good News is, that while we humans often fall short in showing compassion, we have a savior, Jesus, who understands what it is like to experience the things we do and felt all the emotions that can come with it: pain, abandonment, fear, joy, anger, sadness, loneliness, grief, and a myriad of others. It makes him the ultimate “Wounded Healer,” and the ultimate in demonstrating compassion. Thanks be to God!


1 comment:

  1. This brings to mind the video of the homeless man sitting on the steps of a city building who shared his pizza ( that was given to him ) with a hungry young man. The young man had asked several people in the restaurant for food, but they all refused. Maybe they had never had to ask for food before; therefore had no compassion. Compassion and understanding go hand in hand. If we don't really understand and maybe we're being somewhat judgemental also; that leaves no room for compassion. It's sad, really. I guess we should take a little time before making a decision and ask ourselves, " What would Jesus do?" But then, if we were truly believers and disciples of God we wouldn't have to ask.