Compassion is said to be the sometimes fatal capacity for feeling what it is like to live inside somebody else’s skin. It’s the knowledge that there can never really be any peace and joy for me, until there is peace and joy finally for you, too.
Feeling with the “other” is an elusive, essential quality of the Christian journey. There can be no true oneness of the body of Christ until we all feel the hurts of the community. We must not only feel them, but somehow truly put ourselves in the shoes of others, even those others who are radically different than we. That is when we truly become the compassionate community that we are called to be.
True community identification and compassion can only come through prayer. It is a type of prayer that empties us and allows God to fill the void. As we ask God to fill our void we are empowered, in a limited way, to see others as God sees them. It is a dying to self and a rising to the light of God that brings us into the presence of God.
Think on compassion today.