“Children, even infants, are capable of sympathy. But only after adolescence are we capable of compassion.”
~Louise J. Kaplan
Trickling within the soul, as a silently meandering stream, is the capacity—a Voice—of communal reason; the sense of empathy where thought is spared for another person; where their shoes, just for a moment, fit our feet.
Compassion, it is true, it found welling from the soul of those who have suffered a little (or a lot); those who have endured, and surpassed, a philosophical adolescence.
That nuance of compassion, though, provident of our endurance, is limited to our experience—there must be so much more compassion available for acquisition. Our God of compassion—Jesus, no less—has it in copious quantity; the Living Water, the well of which, cannot be plumbed.
Operating in this way, the Holy Spirit, the Spirit that Jesus has sent from the Father, is the Voice of Compassion. It is availed to us according to our investment in developing it—the ability to hear the Spirit in the motions of life.
The Gift Of Blessing
The Lord affords us the precious acquisition of that which we make the most important.
This is the ability to focus—unfortunately, it’s become an overused term.
This gift of blessing—to choose the direction of our focus—is best wisely chosen; if we choose to venture toward the development of the Voice of Compassion there will be vast personal and interpersonal flow-on blessings. The most commanding of these is manifest personally.
Compassion – The Elixir For Selfish Traits
Pushing down selfish traits, like self-pity, narcissism, covetousness, and pleasure-seeking, is most effectually accomplished through the nurture of this Voice of Compassion.
The willingness to focus on others is a selfsame willingness not to focus on the self.
Every honest person that enthusiastically treks on their spiritual journey must, with regular cognisance, have encountered the predilection to selfishness. Compassion is a powerful tool taking us the other way.
The Voice of Compassion is hearing the words of God as opposed to the words of the flesh. It is a widened sphere of concern.
Compassion – The Kindness Of Persistent Mercy
God’s merciful compassion is exemplified in perhaps no better way than by persistence—it never gives up. And as God continues to forgive us evermore, by the shimmering grace of redemption’s seed, we also are to nurture compassion that has no end. (Let’s not confuse this, though, with naïve trust—compassion is not about lining up to get hurt.)
The kindness of persistent mercy listens to an abundant Voice beyond itself. Hurt does not prevail; instead, it prefers to see the hurt behind the hurt.
How much better it is to sidestep hurt by simply finding the hurt that originated the hurt in the first place. So much anger is motivated by unreconciled hurt below the consciousness. Hence, our compassion feels for that distance of intimacy an angry person has with themselves. How could we be hurt when we know we are not the real source of their anger?
The kindness of persistent mercy—a beautiful part-definition of true compassion—is sown realms above the hurt in humanity. It values the sight and objectivity of the Lord.
Everyone needs compassion. Obeying God is listening for, nurturing within, and obeying, the Voice of Compassion.
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.