Saturday, April 7, 2012

Courageous Compassion

It can be frightening when you see someone truly downtrodden and injured.  We may feel horribly inadequate to help them and so we avoid them.  We may be frightened of them or frightened of being too close to the injuries they sustain.  We might be frightened that we will injure the person further by saying the wrong thing or acting in an accidentally rough manner.  We may consider that others would be better equiped to deal with such a person and so we shy away.

But consider this. As most of us can understand such feelings, what kind of situation does create for the injured person?  When they need comfort most, they are lucky to get a quiet, subdued "hi."  Be courageous!  What if what you say is not sufficient or what if you accidentally begin a torrent of hysterical tears and hopelessness?  Likely, you won't. I know this because a few years ago I was the injured one and many even in my own family were afraid to look me in the eye.  It is never offensive to hug a person who is hurting and say "I love you.  I know I can't make it better but I wish I could."  You don't have to hand them the panacea to all their problems and pain.  But you can tell them that you wish you could.  It will mean more to them in that period of darkness than you understand because if everyone keeps away from them they are not only in pain, but alone with no friendly hand to remind them that they are loved.  Be courageous and remember that perfect love casteth out all fear.


  1. Usually, when I am hurting I want to talk about it with someone. It is great for people to listen and give a hug.

  2. Unlike Belle, when I am hurting I tend to hold it in and allow the hurt to hurt me more. I should have learned by now being 65 but I tend to still stay quiet most of the time. I will try to open up more and let my hurts be known. Thanks for this post Michelle.

  3. I think I am quite a bit like you, Odie. But I think deep down all of us would like some compassion, even if we don't have the courage to allow it. Yes? We kinda hope for miracles instead of opening up. It is great to get hugs, Belle. For sure. Wish I'd had more of them at the time, but we can always give to others even if we don't get the manifestations of love ourselves. And that way we can be the strong people we also want to be. Good comments, guys!