Compassion Is – A Poem

This week the word compassion has been on my mind a lot. My own struggles in life have taught me to be compassionate towards others and I believe it is an excellent characteristic to foster in our children. Dictionary.com defines the word compassion as “a feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering.” Synonyms for compassion include mercy and tenderness.

I am thankful that our Lord teaches us compassion, even if it sometimes takes suffering ourselves to learn this lesson. The suffering of Jesus on the cross was a result of His immeasurable compassion and mercy for mankind. He greatly desired to alleviate the suffering of us who were dead in our sins, to redeem us from our lost state. For those who call on His name He was successful in His efforts.

This week I decided to write my Thankful Thursday poem on this wonderful feeling of compassion. I pray that we all will feel compassion for our family, friends, and neighbors, and that we would be enabled to alleviate their suffering.

Compassion Is

a warm hug
on a cold day

a tentative smile
in the face of pain

a heartfelt prayer
lifted high with praise

a hot bowl of soup
for an empty belly

a cozy blanket
when there’s nowhere to sleep

a kind word
where none has been heard

an invitation
to come in from weather

a song of lament
that shares in a loss

a sincere question
of what help can be offered

a promise of hope
from a Savior who loves

Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. 36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Matthew 9:35-36 (NIV).

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14 Comments

Filed under Faith, Jesus, Life, Poetry, postaday2011

14 responses to “Compassion Is – A Poem

  1. You’re such a diverse poet as I compare this poem to the poem you wrote entitled offended. I would love to nominate you for the Versatile Blogger Award.

  2. Your poem is sweet and endearing, and I agree with Debby that it paints such a clear picture of those in need.

    Not to sound like a grump, but… My best friend has a son who is homeless. She walked the streets of downtown Cleveland yesterday until God put them face to face. She took a handful of PB&J sandwiches out of her bag, walked with him to a carry-out and bought him cigarettes. When he said, “Mom, can I have 30-bucks,” she told him she refused to put $30 straight into his veins.

    I’m big on hugs, smiles, prayers, and soup! And providing a meal, clothes, and blankets goes a long way too, to offer compassion. But I’ve learned the hard way through my friend Mallory where all the cash goes.

    Hope you’re doing better today, Linda… I was happy to find Thankful Thursday when I got here! Hugs… : )

    • Linda, I agree that giving cash is not the best option. I’ve bought a hot meal for a homeless guy in downtown Portland, or a gift card for a fast food restaurant. Thanks for your prayers; I am feeling a bit better today. I can feel all the prayers. Peace, Linda

      • Oops. I will try to have some food and water handy for the next time we pass by that way! So thankful you are feeling some better. Will keep praying.

      • Deb, Breakfast bars are a handy thing to keep handy in the car for such occasions. But I wouldn’t worry too much about giving a few dollars cash. I’ve done that too, especially when my son is in the car because he wants to give something. I think the lesson of compassion for our kids is worth the risk that the money may not go to what we would think is the right thing. :) Peace, Linda

      • Sweet Linda. . .thank you for encouraging me in this and seeing the lesson of compassion. :) You are such a special instrument of HIs!

  3. Linda! I llloooovvvveeeeddd this. You didn’t just write about compassion . . .you showed us what it is, what it looks like.
    You may see homeless people often, I’m not sure. But I don’t. We live in a little town, and don’t see anyone here. Where we travel into the next city, a bigger city, we never see anyone either. Until today. And it broke my heart. She had a sign beside an exit ramp and I handed her out some money. Then later, there was an older gentleman, but I couldn’t get to him from the lane I was in. I can’t forget them and it was so hard to leave them there. You are the first one I told, because my family (besides Aubrey, who was with me and can’t forget them either) wouldn’t understand. Will tell me it was most likely a scam. And I would rather have been scammed then to not respond, to not let my heart be touched by another’s need.
    God bless you, Linda, and the compassion you have for the hurting and pain of others.

    • Deb, In the small city I live in we don’t see the homeless, but you don’t have to go too far to see them. And on a sunny day in downtown Portland they are everywhere you look. It is very sad and breaks my heart. Bless you for responding, even if it might be a scam. I know sometimes the people on freeway offramps are part of a “scam” but who’s to say they aren’t begging there because they can’t find any other job. They might beef up the story a bit to make them sound more needy than they are, but I think you are providing Aubrey with a great lesson in compassion by helping them out. Peace, Linda

  4. Ann

    “compassion is
    a sincere question
    of what help can be offered”

    The Jesus factor?

    Thank you.

    Blessings,
    ann

    • Ann, Yes, the Jesus factor! I think compassion is also asking “How are you?” and really wanting to know the answer. I could have made this poem so much longer, as there are so many other ways compassion is shared. But I had to stop some time. ;) Peace, Linda

      • Ann

        Ha!
        That concept was the basis of a heated group discussion. :-) My thoughts are, why ask if you don’t want to know? Don’t ask and then cut people off with “good to know!” without even hearing what they had to say. :-( ( I was tied and burned at the stake for that! lol)

        When I ask, I want to know. I want to know how I can help you make it better… Asking suggests I have an interest in your well being and I genuinely want to know how you are doing. Is that a bad thing?

        not sure why someone would ask just for the sake of asking but my group seemed to think that was acceptable…

        blessings,
        ann

      • Ann, I agree with you. Why ask if you don’t want to know? But it does seem to have become the socially acceptable greeting – “Hi, how ya doin’?” – but not socially acceptable to answer with anything but “Fine, and you?” I’ve actually posted on this topic before. I might have to find that article and repost, or use it as a starting point for another post. And the next time you ask how I’m doing, I’ll let you know. :) Peace, Linda

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