dictionary definition: compassion [kəmˈpæʃən]
a feeling of distress and pity for the suffering or misfortune of another, often including the desire to alleviate it
[from Old French, from Late Latin compassiō fellow feeling, from compatī to suffer with, from Latin com- with + patī to bear, suffer]
But she more clearly defined it as come, with or along side passion [and passion does not mean the enthusiasm you feel for your pursuits]...it really means suffering like in "the passion of the Christ".
So come along side the suffering one.
Wow ...... for me so much different than feeling pity or wishing to alleviate the distress of someone else. I guess I would always like to take away the pain for someone, like give them a shot of morphine or kiss the boo boo of my little one but that is the pity side and not the depth of the meaning that Sue was trying to convey.
During Gene's illness and death so many people would have liked to relieve my [and my children's] suffering, they really, really wished they could make it go away but of course it wasn't within their power to change it. That was solely in the hands of the Lord. And he was faithful.... and He did preform miracles and He told us He would see us through, and He has. But some were particularly good at this other definition, that of coming along side the suffering. What a sweet sweet friend it is who can do that, one who can hold you six months later and let you get all sobby nosed again and again despite the fact that at times you function like a fairly normal ~filled with business of the day~ person. The friend who says it is okay to be messed up big time over little things like having to decide the fate of your dog with cancer or the giving away of Gene's eyeglasses [to people who can really use them and knowing he doesn't need them anymore...His eyes are in the best shape EVER!] But that friend who assures you that it is perfectly reasonable to not move through this grieving any faster than you are doing so. Come along side of ........not explain away or reason into oblivion or out talk or busy away but along side the suffering. Feeling it alongside you, allowing it to be felt, with out concern of how many times you have cried or sorrowed nor the level of discomfort they personally feel to watch you cry....again. Not drugged away, not expected away, not uncomfortable so push it away...I have experienced all of these from very loving and well meaning people.
There is a friend that sticks closer than a brother...well that scripture is speaking of Jesus but the friend who stick despite the length of time it takes to grieve is a precious gift from the hand of God to my heart and I am THANKFUL EVERY DAY for them.
She told another story as I was driving today.....
Sue Monk Kidd's grandmother-in-law created a beautiful pink organdy dress for herself. She had just finished it and after showing it off she laid it out to iron....the iron was too hot and scorched the dress before ever the first wearing. Right away Grandmother picked up a pair of scissors and cut the dress into patches ... she made a patchwork quilt that Sue and her husband later inherited. Sue tells that every time she pulls that quilt over her bed she is reminded of the grace to see something of before become something new. Forbidding sorrow and remorse from hindering the joy of the new.
I was reminded again that God sees the whole of my picture, the complete scope of my life. I can not. I chose to be thankful that he only shows me what I must needs deal with today...and sometimes the next few days.
These next days are to be filled with flying. I hope to post again soon and tell you I survived the inspection before flight procedure and I am safely landed.......or....... I will tell you how is teaching me something different and how it could maybe be a bible lesson just for me!