Compassion Creates Community

Image Credit: Lily’s Creations
The dirty, wild, curses-like-a-sailor-child you look at daily and see only positive qualities in: curiosity, intelligence, energy, desire.

 

The single mother of three children whom you see as you order breakfast from her at the restaurant in the morning and pay her for your gas at the station on your way home in the evening.
 
The man you grew up with who won’t even make eye contact with you in the grocery store since he mysteriously stopped coming to church.

 

The elderly shut-in woman who went out of her way to not only cut you with her words, but spewed her venom loud enough that a crowded room heard it all has recently became a widow.
 

WHAT ABOUT THEM?

 
You see them, too. Don’t you?

 

Surely I’m not the only one surrounded by people matching not only the above descriptions, but so many more. Hurting people. Broken people. Struggling people. Prideful people. Angry people. Neglected people.

 

People crying out in the most reclusive or rejective ways for help.

HOW DO WE RESPOND?

 

Many people seem to respond to their behavior rather than their pleas for help.

 

But I look at these people, truly look at them, and try to see the world, myself, as it must appear from their perspective.

 

And I see a reflection of myself, not in what they see, but in the eye I’m looking out of. I have been each of those individuals in one way or another. I have cried out in all the wrong ways for help, too.
 
 

All I ever wanted was someone to push back against my boundaries and do something to help me. Something. Anything.

And I wonder, when I hear people tell me not to get involved, to mind my own business. What has happened to the our feet of compassion?

 

Can we really stand by and watch as our fellow brothers and sisters struggle just to make it through another moment, let alone another day?
 

CAN WE REALLY MAKE A DIFFERENCE?

 

What if I carry their groceries out? Am I lifting one small burden of their almost broken back?

 

What if I drop off one of MY bags of groceries on their front porch with a note of encouragement?
 
What if I simply look him in the eye, stretch out my hand, and honestly tell him how much I’ve missed talking to him?

 

What if I volunteer to mentor that child? Pick them up once a week or so just to do something they would like to do. Maybe even offer to wash their clothes while we hang out.
 
What if I give the zoo family pass I have to the waitress? Will a day out with her kids that has no price tag attached help her create memories?

 

What if I pick up the shut-in widow for church next Sunday? Can I set down my pride to relieve some of her pain?
 
I can do any one of those things without sacrificing much time or money. Yet the impact of the gesture would echo around my community.

 

Compassion freely given or stingily withheld creates the community we are leaving for our children and grandchildren.

 

We can choose not to get involved and mind our business by doing nothing, or we can choose to get involved and mind our own business by showing compassion to those God places in our path. Either way, we ARE involved and we did make a very specific choice.
 View the other #1000Speaks posts on compassion HERE.

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21 comments

  • We all want to be SEEN, Validated, Heard!

    Great Post!

    • You are so correct. So often we get tied up in ourselves wanting those things that we fail to see the others wanting the same things. When I feel myself sinking into a sulk, I find the quickest way to lift myself up is to do for someone else what I want someone to do for me.

      Thank you for the encouragement and for dropping in! Please come by again!

  • Yes we do need to be heard and recognized in this less 3D social World – beautifully written and i loved the video and song

    • Donna,

      I’m so glad you took the time to watch the video! I often wonder if anyone does. Were you familiar with the song prior to this post?

      Thank you so much for your encouragement and for stopping in to add your perspective to the conversation. Please drop in again! 🙂

  • Hi Carrie 🙂

    Totally agree that we do need to be HEARD and RECOGNIZED!! Very inspiring post 🙂

    • Joan,

      Glad to see you again! We do need to be acknowledged in this world were anonymity seems to be the goal of most. Thank you so much for your encouragement.

      I hope to see you again soon!

  • You’ve nailed it. It’s easy to reflect compassion; what happens when we create it? It grows.

    Beautiful post.

    • Eli,

      It only takes a spark, doesn’t it? And someone has to be the spark. If we all sit around waiting for someone to do the first right thing, well, we’ll be waiting forever.

      I’m so glad you dropped in to add your voice. Please come back again!

    • Carrie,
      Powerful, both words and song. Touched my heart.
      You are going to be a powerful speaker!
      I’m praying for you, girl!
      Amy

      • mrs_tripp@hotmail.com

        Amy,

        You have no idea how much your comment means to me! Tearing up as I read it and am typing back. Today, well since it’s 3 AM I guess last night and this morning, I renamed and moved my blog to self-hosted. I’m scared and wondering what in the world I’m doing, but I’m stepping out. Coveting those prayers.

        Super glad you listened to the song too! I always wonder if anyone does, and you’re person 2 so far. 🙂

        Carrie

  • You made my eyes water…thank you for sharing this perspective….sharing this page! <3

    • mrs_tripp@hotmail.com

      Mary,

      I am so glad you came by to read tonight. I am glad that you found something here that spoke to your heart. Please drop in to chat again.

      Carrie

  • The song reflects your heart-felt words. A kind act can mean so much to a broken person, whether they acknowledge it or not.

  • I am another who teared up upon watching the video – I felt the woman’s loneliness so much. This is a hard one for me. I try to be very careful when helping others. There are so many scams here, now. I work in the downtown of a small city in upstate New York, and scammers come out at lunchtime, when people are walking the streets. People claiming they were on the way to a hospital in another city and “ran out of gas” (interesting, as our downtown is miles from the interstate and wouldn’t be stumbled accidentally upon by someone not familiar with our area who was also running out of gas) or “needing money for the bus” (I offered one of these people a bus pass, as I take the bus and had one on me – and you should have seen the look on her face -obviously, she wasn’t looking for bus fare). I am sorry that I have grown hard but I have.

  • Carrie!
    Thank you for sharing this song and a beautiful reminder to look for opportunities to reach out in the community.
    All the best with your new direction for your blog as you seek to inspire people towards God’s work. ❤

  • Great post, even after the second reading.

  • Making a difference one selfless act at a time – LOVE IT. 🙂

  • Love the stories

  • I don’t know how I missed your post last week but I am so glad I got it today. It is beautiful.

  • This is something I have been praying and I have felt God so strongly calling me to do. To see the people around me and to love them like He does. It is hard to step out of the comfort zone and I am scared about it. Because the charity work is still easy, you have a structure, you do your thing and then you go home. But inviting people into your life, that is very different. It’s risky and it’s scary and I really want God to guide me to do it.

  • Love this!

    Oh, that we would be moved with the same compassion that our Savior took to the cross on our behalf!

    Blessings to you and yours.