For the past few years I have prayed about an area of my life God needs me to focus on and picked one word which I would do my best to live out. This year after praying and reading Ann Voscamp's book, "The Broken Way" the word I have chosen is compassion.
This morning I thought about how we are all broken in some way. We have all been wounded and so often we are alone in our woundedness because we either assume no one really cares or we are afraid to share our hearts. I remember many years ago sharing something very personal and painful with someone I considered a good friend and her response to me was, "I wish you have never shared this with me as I will remember it every time I look at you." It was not what I needed to hear. It left me ashamed that I had been vulnerable, it hurt me and I decided it would have been better to bury my hurt than to ever risk being judged again.
As I read Ann's book last week I was reminded if we don't share our brokenness, if we don't share our stories there is never really full communion with others. Ann wrote:"Maybe communion happens not only when we're broken and given--but when we give each other our brokenness." I believe it is only when we can share from our own brokenness that others will feel free to share their wounds with us.
God's Word tells us that our hearts should be broken by the things that break His heart. When we are willing to be vulnerable and to give someone our broken hearts it also breaks our pride and our ego goes right out the window. Recognizing the brokenness in others draws us closer to the heart of God. When we are afraid of recognizing our own brokenness and unwilling to share the brokenness of others it will keep us from loving fully and investing in the lives of others. It also may hinder blessings God has planned for us.
Compassion is what the world needs more of. One of my favorite stories is that of the Velveteen Rabbit..a rabbit that had been well loved by the little boy who owned him. We become real...we become authentic when we allow the broken moments in our lives and in the lives of those God places in our path to change our hearts. Not only will we connect with them, but we will draw closer to God. We all have talents and gifts and we all make the decision as to how we will use them. When we choose to listen, to be available, to love and to offer hope to someone we become a refuge for them in their pain. Compassion...I pray I will be used by God as I focus on living with intention and to love, serve and care do others whose lives intersect with mine.