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Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Power of Compassion...

My heart is breaking today. Breaking over the life of a beautiful woman who passed away Saturday night. A beautiful, vibrant, mother, wife, sister and child of God. My heart is breaking for her family, but even more for this woman herself. She and I didn't know each other that well, but we knew each other enough to care. Enough to speak and give a hug every time we ran into each other, enough to know a little background of our stories. And now that she is gone, it's ripping me apart knowing that it wasn't enough.

My stomach churns to even think that she will no longer be sitting in her familiar seat at church on Sunday. And it just reminds me of how loosely we throw around those "How are you"'s, and "How ya doin"'s, and responses like the typical "fine" and "good". When really, if we took the time to be intentional about conversations with people, and intentional about getting to know people, we might actually start to get honest responses. People might begin to open up more. We might actually start to share our hurts with each other. And then we might be able to recognize those windows of opportunity to really listen and be there for one another.

You see, I never took that opportunity with this woman. And I know I had SO many. She jumped at the chance to speak life into me...several times. I took it for granted. And she took her own life. I don't say all this to say that I would have been able to change the outcome. Maybe she would have never opened up to me. But it just sinks in how important it is to let people know you care. We can't continue to shut ourselves off to the hurts and struggles that the person next to us is quite possibly dealing with in secret. I've underestimated the power and importance of compassion.

"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."
-2 Corinthians 1:3-4

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