Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Compassion Challenge

Compassion reaches further than feeling for and with others. Extensions to action must be reached:
  • to not simply react to wounds, but to heal 
  • to not pass judgement, but to offer mercy
  • to not just hear news, but to share God's heart in act (like prayer)
  • to do more than give money to causes, but to extend our support
Compassion challenges my toddler to:
  • say "I'm sorry," mean it,  or "I forgive you," and find a way of reconnecting the relationship
  • see the hurt and the helpers when hearing a siren, and pray
Jochebed, Yo-heh-bed; Dreamworks and listal.com


Since Lent 2012, we have let A watch snippets of the film 'Prince of Egypt' every once in a while when her little brother is napping. She loves that Miriam took care of Moses, and Jochebed cared so deeply and bravely. As an aside, need I mention that there are courageous and intelligent women mentioned by name in the book of Exodus? Gotta love Shiphrah, Puah, and Zipporah, too. The theme of compassion had us using the film to look more closely at Moses and how he saw those around himself, thanks to God working through his life.

Moses grew up in an affluent foster family, moving from the bottom to the upper reaches of society. He later became an exile, a refugee in a foreign land. He learned more than one language in his lifetime. Moses led those who listened out of obligation, and those who listened in desperation. He learned to listen to God, and rely on God for power (he felt powerless and a poor spokesman), and speak God's truth clearly. Moses may have been one of the greatest Old Testament leaders, and still he failed on his own. There's hope for me! Book of Exodus.

Because of the challenge to compassion and A's great understanding of the basic storyline, we watch the 'scary' parts together now. Infanticide turns my stomach into knots. She watches very intently and we talk about how each person involved felt, and especially what God wants. Someday in her childhood we'll get to the hard parts of the Bible, like when the Israelites occupy Canaan and slaughter entire villages at God's command... For now, stepping into another person's shoes is far more important. That's because Jesus acted with extreme and full compassion; God became human like us, to heal, to offer mercy, and to do what we could not. The Spirit compels me to become like Christ.

Princess of Egypt, Moses; Dreamworks and listal.com

Compassion has me thinking hard about:
  • the timeline of my losses. Where was compassion? How did I respond?
  • excuses I gave (give) for protecting my children's health, versus taking them with me to serve even the most uncomfortable groups of people.
  • the people who serve me and my family. What needs do they have?
  How about you?

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