Skip to main content

A Question, Compassion, and the #PrinceofPeace


"How would you feel?"  

As a young child, I heard my mom ask me that question quite often. It was her way of teaching me to think beyond myself, to try to understand the perspective of others, and then to recognize how my actions might be interpreted by others.  Through her question, I learned to share my toys, say "please" and "thank you," and to cover my mouth when I sneezed.  

Mom didn't just question me, though; she taught through example. 
I remember Mom providing transportation and moral support to a friend whose daughter was in the burn unit of the hospital.  I remember Mom babysitting another friend's severely disabled baby so the friend could have an hour or two of respite.  I remember Mom comforting a friend whose child was diagnosed with leukemia.  I remember Mom talking on the phone, providing a listening ear to anyone who needed it.  

I also remember driving with Mom to the one-story building that housed the old folks.  Mom went there often, not out of duty, but out of compassion.  She wasn't related to the woman she visited, and she hadn't known her in her younger years.  She visited because she thought to herself, "How would I feel?"  

The woman Mom chose to visit on a regular basis was not some sweet little old lady who greeted Mom with a smile and a twinkle in her eye.  On the contrary, Mom visited a woman who spent her days in bed moaning and screaming incoherently.  Mom would go into her room, carry on a one-way conversation for 15 or 20 minutes, then leave with a promise to return again soon.  This ritual continued unchanged for months, until that one day.

Mom had gone into the room as usual, and had been greeted as usual with the wailing of this woman's cries.  Mom cheerfully spoke over the screams.  Suddenly, the old lady grew quiet--and then she spoke!  

"I love you!" she declared.  

And then, as quickly as the moment came, it passed.  Mom was blessed to receive verbal confirmation that her visits were meaningful to that dear woman.  Even if she hadn't heard those words, though, Mom knew that her compassionate visits  brought peace to both the giver and the receiver.   

Mom continues to exhibit compassion now, as she manages the care of her 100-year-old mother.  Through regular communication with the staff of the nursing center, and frequent visits, she assures that my grandma's needs are met and that she is comfortable. 


Photo:  Mom talks with Grandma at Grandma's 100th birthday party

In the New Testament, we read in Matthew 25:

34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

Those who helped others showed compassion.  They answered the question, "How would you feel?" and then followed that with action.  

Of course, Jesus Christ was the perfect exemplar of compassion. His entire life was a life of service to others, done out of love.  He healed the blind and lame. He cried with those who mourned.  He forgave those who sinned.  He fed the hungry.  He willingly atoned for the entire world, giving all the opportunity to return to our Father's presence. 

This Easter season is a perfect time to learn more about Jesus Christ and His example.  Beginning one week from today, on March 31st, a new Easter campaign, #PrinceofPeace, will go live on comeuntoChrist.org .  It will focus on several principles, including compassion, which guided Jesus Christ's life, and how those principles can bring peace.  

I'm thankful for Jesus' example,  for my mom's gentle question, "How would you feel?" and for her compassionate nature.

What examples of compassion have you noticed?  I'd love to hear your stories!




Pin It

Comments

  1. As usual, your post offers something to ponder and to practice.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Nancy. I have good examples all around me--now I just need to follow.

      Delete
  2. This was a beautiful message, and a powerful lesson. You were blessed with a wonderful teacher in your Mom, and I see her caring and compassion reflected in you. <3

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I am fortunate to have my mom, and my grandma. From what I have heard about my great-grandma, she was pretty amazing, too. Compassion causes quite the ripple effect.

      Delete

Post a Comment

Conversations are so much nicer when more than one person does the talking. :-) Please leave a comment and let me know your thoughts; I'd love to hear from you!

Popular posts from this blog

Ten Things of Thankful: Even in Times of Uncertainty

  A railroad switch point on the tracks at the Golden Spike National Historic Park There is a lot I don't know. I don't know who will lead the United States for the next four years (at the time I'm composing this post, that hasn't been determined yet.) I don't know when covid cases will stop rising in my state and start decreasing. I don't know how challenging situations will turn out. There is much uncertainty in life. Living in limbo-land is hard. It's emotionally exhausting. It can be immobilizing. My body seems to think chocolate is the answer, but I know that isn't a long-term solution. What do I need in times like these? I need to REMEMBER . 1. R esilience. People are resilient. I am resilient. I'm thankful for resilience. 2. " E ach Life That Touches Ours for Good." So many people, both those I know in "real life," and those I have only met virtually, have taught me, encouraged me, and been examples to me. I'm thankful

Ten Things of Thankful: Dad's Influence Edition

Infant-me, sitting on the wood floor, looks up at my dad, who is sitting on a brown sofa and smiling down to me Here in the United States, it is Father's Day weekend. I did not realize until recently that Father's Day was not officially made a holiday until 1972. 1972! Now, while I realize that many people consider 1972 eons ago, I do not. I'm glad that fathers have a day of recognition now, because they surely deserve acknowledgement.  I thought for this week's Ten Things of Thankful post, I would list ten lessons I'm thankful my dad taught me. My dad is a teacher. Not only did he impart his knowledge to countless junior high aged kids throughout his career, he taught--and still teaches--my siblings and me. He is not a preachy teacher; he's a humble man whose lessons I feel like I learned through osmosis. When he would get home from work, we'd all sit down as a family for supper. Often, our phone would ring, and on the other end of the line would be a paren

Ten Things of Thankful: Summer Strawberries and Procrastinated Projects

A brilliantly-colored dark pink and purple fuchsia blossom You would think that by the time a person reaches my age, she would not be surprised by the passing of time, yet I find myself nearly constantly amazed that a certain amount of time has passed--whether that be a week, month, year, or couple of decades. Earlier this year, I planted a garden. Yesterday I harvested my first strawberry. Earlier this year, I also planted fuchsia starts, and now the flowers are blooming. How is that possible? (And why am I surprised?) Sometime around the turn of the century (and it still seems strange to use that phrase about the year 2000), we bought a circa 1935 dresser. It needed some TLC, but had a cool curvy front. This past week, I finally got around to applying some Restor-A-Finish and Feed-N-Wax, and now the dresser still looks old, but not dilapidated. I still need to apply some hide glue to some loose pieces, but I'm counting progress as a win. For as long as I can remember, I've be