This morning a phrase caught my attention: “…and he was converted to compassion.” The text referred to Saint Francis of Assisi, who left all his wealth to love on the lepers of his day, but what about us today?
There’s so much hate, greed, injustice, and inequality in our world. Everyone is jostling for followers to adhere to opinionated views, to convert to anything and everything.
Many from different faiths (mine inclusive) often try to convert others with rigidity, inflexibility and judgement. Love is squeezed out by rules.
Not sayin’ faith is not important (or that we should throw out the Ten Commandments and the Great Commission), but what about being converted to compassion?
Offering our hearts to be touched by the suffering of others? Feeling with them? Being one in heart, mind and spirit?
“Let us not use bombs and guns to overcome the world. Let us use love and compassion.” Mother Teresa (Saint Teresa of Calcutta)
During the election cycle I wrote about Civility (now needed, more than ever.) The root of civility is respect: respecting the dignity of others. Compassion takes civility to another level altogether. The root of compassion is LOVE: love for others (& ourselves.)
Compassion starts with us – inside – letting love in.
Compassion lets love heal our hurting hearts, the scarred bits of our lives, then offers them up to become healing for others. (Keep in mind healing is a journey. It takes time.)
Add generous doses of kindness, gentleness, mercy and hugs of understanding.
Open hearts, open minds, open spirits: open to others and otherness.
Open to share love and pain, together. Maybe compassion can’t take pain away, but it says, “I’m here with you. I’m here for you. There’s real estate in my heart for your pain.”
Can we be converted to compassion today, and every day? Can we convert others?
grace, peace & compassion converts
“Compassion asks us to go where it hurts, to enter into the places of pain, to share in brokenness, fear, confusion, and anguish. Compassion challenges us to cry out with those in misery, to mourn with those who are lonely, to weep with those in tears. Compassion requires us to be weak with the weak, vulnerable with the vulnerable, and powerless with the powerless. Compassion means full immersion in the condition of being human.” Henri Nouwen