Thursday, October 11, 2012

Compassion Challenge

Continuing our family's learning in the incarnating spiritual disciplines: after Creation Care comes Compassion.

Translating the word 'compassion' into action seems so simple! I've been slow in posting about how this one is going for a couple of reasons.

1) I keep second-guessing myself in challenging situations.
2) Toddlers are not naturally compassionate, and yet can see a need that adults would not notice.

Gotta be honest and write that being compassionate grinds into the tendency we all have to put 'me' before 'you.'

One small step this week has been to let our family be beholden to a neighbor. Yeah, it's a reversal on 'compassion.' By letting her meet our needs, we've gotten to know a very loving side of her and spend more time with her and her family. She's watched my daughter at the park while we moved heavy furniture, and found specialty clothing for my son to borrow.

I'm learning to slow down and sincerely say, "Thank you." And I'm learning to ask her questions about how she handled family and kid situations at various stages.

With each of her offers, "How nice, but you don't have to" almost comes out of my mouth. Independence and self-reliance mean almost-missed opportunity to know her better. It's been good and led to some spontaneous play dates and texts!

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