5/13/13

A Lamp Full: Compassion

"Tears are alright. They are the price we pay for love, care, and compassion in the world." – Jeffrey R. Holland

 
My name is Janine, and I am a cry baby. Okay, I admit it.
 
I cry:
  • When I am hurt. 
  • When I am sad. 
  • When I am happy.
  • When I feel inspired. 
  • During confrontation.
  • When I am mad.
  • When I laugh too hard.
  • When I chop onions.
  • When someone is unkind to me.
  • When others are unexpectedly kind to me.
  • When I am unkind to someone else.

Also, I cry when others cry. I can't help it. I am powerless to stop it. I used to be embarrassed by it. But as I have gotten older, I have embraced it as part of who I am.
 
Tears, to me, mean that I have a heart. It is tender and kind and empathetic. That is not to say that those who do not cry are cold and heartless. Tears are not the only window to the soul. Many can feel the tender stirrings of the heart without the direct result being a flood of emotion that requires tissues and a re-application of mascara. Bless you all. How do you do it?
 
Because for me, the tears come. And I have learned to let them. There is something therapeutic about tears. I actually worry about myself when they don't come. In recent years, we have had a few minor tragedies occur that left me emotionless. Try as I might, the tears would not come. I felt numb and cold. I certainly didn't want to face the reality of the situation. There have also been times in my life when the tears began to fall and I had to squelch them because I was too busy or had to be strong and put off facing the truth. Truth be told, in those times, I felt jipped! I needed compassion from myself that was very slow in coming.
 
I read a book once about a baby who was born with severe limitations. She was not expected to survive birth. She was not expected to survive infancy. She was not going to survive toddler hood. But she did. She was a very special young lady during her short time on earth. When there was contention in the home, it hurt her heart so strikingly, that she put her hands over her ears and cried. No one in the family dared to fight because of how it made this precious one react.  So they just stopped the fighting. I was touched by this story. I wish more of us "cried."
 
It is easy to feel compassion and outrage when we see events such as Boston or Newton, CT. These events certainly bring tears. But I wish the tears would come when we hear unkind words spoken in conversations. I wish we wept when we heard of dishonesty, immorality, immodesty, and infidelity in our own neighborhoods.  I wish we ached for complete strangers who live in filth, addiction and misery. I wish we all shed more tears of love and compassion for the sick, lonely and depressed. I wish that our hearts would cheer and the tears flow more freely when we see an ordinary person giving ordinary service to others.  Maybe more tears would lessen envy, malice, hate, intolerance, and jealousy. Maybe just maybe, if our lamps were full of tears, hearts would be softer, forgiveness would abound, marriages would be stronger, and healing would take place for all the wounded.
 
Tears here, of course, are a metaphor for compassion. Things are not always as they seem. So don't judge too harshly. Don't condemn so piously. Seek for the compassion that was had by the Savior himself who looked at all children as children of the most high. I know that He wept, so I am in good company.
 
How can we fill our lamps with compassion?
  • A life full of service. When we serve others, we develop love for them. The more we know, the more we understand, the greater the compassion for them.
  • Get to know people. You know, the ones who live next door.
  • Pray for compassion. Pray to see people as God sees them.
  • Give. Give your time, your money (if you enough to spare) and your help to others. It is hard to have compassion when we keep all of our time and resource to ourselves.

We can not borrow compassion from another. We must have our own lamp full of "tears" so we can more fully understand others. What a world it would be if more people stocked up on this precious commodity.

If you enjoyed this post, please read the others in my series here.

Joined the party at Rich Faith Rising Living Green Teach Me Tuesday Alabaster Jar Titus2Tuesdsay Tending the Home Walking Redeemed Adorned From Above WFMW To Love, Honor, and Vaccuum Deep Roots At Home Simple Living Homemaking linkup Time Out Thriving Thursday Somewhat Simple Fit Friday Fellowship Friday Show and Tell The Better Mom

7 comments:

  1. I cry all the time too. It is outlet, a cleansing of the soul whenever I have any emotion. I quit being embarrassed by it a long, long time ago. Now when I am around people who do not understand, I just say I leak. I used to cry every time I went into the bishops office, even if I had requested the meeting. I don't think he ever did understand. The new bishop does, he automatically hands me a tissue and that is nice.

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  2. You figured out the "you might also like" links. Yay! Enjoyed this as usual. I find that I don't cry at the same times and for the same reasons I used to, but that tears come at unexpected times anymore. It really is strange.

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  3. What a great post. I am one who does both--I tear up easily at certain things, but I am emotionless at others. Your words are a great encouragement to us all to care about everyone who hurts.

    Visiting from Titus 2sdays!
    Blessings,
    Selena @ glencampbellclan.blogspot.com

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  4. How lovely. Thank you for posting this.

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  5. I used to never cry, and sometimes, I wish I could but the tears just aren't there. However, a lack tears doesn't mean a lack of compassion, although it may seem that way.
    I'm stopping by from The Better Mom.

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    Replies
    1. I certainly believe that! Compassion is from the heart, not what we see on the outside. Thanks for sharing.

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  6. I'm a crier! And those tears do come at the most inopportune moments. But you are right...it simply means compassion resides within the heart! Thank you for linking up with me last week at Walking Redeemed!

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