Compassion for Someone Like Me

“Don’t judge a man until you’ve walked two moons in his moccasins”


When I was in first grade, I received  the Good Samaritan Award. I wasn’t ‘loving my neighbor as myself’ because I wanted credit or because I knew my teacher may be watching. I didn’t even know the award existed until I was holding it in my little hands. I was raised to be kind, understanding, and long-suffering with others. I owe it to my parents for modeling this before me at all times. They also showed me that it was through Jesus that they lead lives of love, because He first loved us. It was through this lens that I viewed the world in my younger years. Like everyone else, after a few years in school I learned that people don’t always care if they hurt your feelings, misinterpret your intentions or even get you in trouble if it’s for their own selfish gain. It happened to me often. For starters, because I was so tender hearted. Tender towards the concerns an feelings of others and tender toward the heart of my God. It’s interesting to me how this is so frowned upon – the idea of keeping this sense of purity and by definition, innocence. If you’ve lived on this planet for any length of time, you probably figured out that you must protect yourself from other earthlings. So what do you do? You grow a shell, of course! You evolve into a cautious, slightly-more-guarded, mature individual. This behavior is a highly-necessary behavior as to keep from being eaten by the larger predators in this figurative ocean. I feel that the social norm of society pushes a greater level of callousness than what’s needed to survive, and thus resulting in a “hardening of heart”. This condition is very difficult to recover from and if left untreated is fatal. (Another post all by itself) Through personal tragedy and the ups and downs of life, I grew to accept the lie that this “hardening” was the only way to make it in this world. It was the ultimate facade. I could keep a smile on my face and keep my rock heart too. But not for long. It was killing me, slowly. As an adult, my mother reminded me that I also was awarded the Compassion award. It’s funny now, but I had long forgotten this certificate of recognition by the time I’d reached junior high. By then, I was a semi-pro at acting like certain things didn’t get to me. But I went to a youth conference around that time and found myself asking God for the ability to feel what others feel. Why? It became my instant desire. That’s the day I got my super power power back! A special gift God gave me to express His goodness. A gift that I tried to pawn-off in the name of acceptance and quite frankly, because it’s just harder to give a care. Tip: Super powers are given freely, but must be honed 😉 Compassion has gotten me into some of the worst situations (and produced some of the most fulfilling opportunities) in my young adult life! The multitudes were healed because Jesus was moved with compassion and compelled to make them whole. Compassion also led him to the cross. Going through hard times happens to everyone, but I believe everything I go through, broadens my empathy towards my fellow man. Why is this? We can always be compassionate towards a person, when we’ve been where they’ve been. I’m sure this is a shadow of how Jesus must feel when he thinks of you and I. As for what that means to me, Jesus taught that his yoke is easy and his burden is light. So although he has graced me with a mercy gift; to cry when others cry and to help shoulder the concerns or distresses of those closest to me, I don’t have to carry them around. I just give it to him! “Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares for you”  1Peter 5:7 How’s that for heart reflections on a Monday night? #deep AOC


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