Sunday, July 20, 2008

What is Compassion?

Merriam-Webster defines compassion as a sympathetic consciousness of others' distress together with a desire to alleviate it. Another source states it means a deep awareness of the suffering of another coupled with the wish to relieve it. Another states, the humane quality of understanding the suffering of others and wanting to do something about it. Other words that compassion might be associated with is mercifulness or mercy, pity, humaneness, commiseration, and sympathetic.

I have been wanting to write this post for some time now, but never could find the right words. How do I explain my understanding and meaning of compassion? I feel like there is so many things I want to say or yell from the mountain top. I find myself stumbling over my thoughts. So many thoughts that I want to share.

Compassion to me, is the ability to be impacted by a child that knows more about life than I will ever know. Compassion is a place that children around the world find comfort and refuge in God and His people during the hardest of hard times. Compassion is a chance to learn about living your life for Jesus and loving others just as He loves us. Compassion draws me closer to children in need and closer to the One I need. More words I think of when I think about Compassion is--humbling, joyful, excitement, uplifting, hope, painful (at times) and most of all, love.

If you haven't gathered, Compassion to me is not as Webster describes it. Compassion is an organization that we got involved with over 2 years ago. It is an organization that pairs you with a child in need. A child who needs food, prayers, shelter, education, and so much more. Without help they are hungry and some are without hope. A lot of them live their lives in homes that we wouldn't want to put our old junk in and they drink water you would never want your dog to drink from. While I can take my daughter to the doctor for a runny nose, parents are watching their own children die from hunger and treatable illnesses. They listen to their children cry at night because their stomach aches from emptiness.

There was a recent post made on a Compassion's blog about fasting. Compassion had urged readers to fast due to a rising food crisis. We complain about rising food costs and our economy. Imagine working at a job that only earns $1 a day and then having to use 80% of that to pay for food to feed your family. The post author states, "...I?ll tell you what would impact me ? and again I?ll speak as a mother. Ask me to wake my child in the morning and tell her she will have nothing to eat today. Ask me to put her to bed at night crying because she is so hungry. When she looks at me with complete love and trust ? knowing that she depends on me for everything ? ask me to tell her there will be nothing to eat tomorrow either. Now ask me to repeat this daily until her ribs protrude, her tummy bloats, and she can hardly walk. As a mom, I want to give my child everything ? the best of everything. Now tell me that I can give her nothing ? not even the food she needs to keep her alive. "

Through Compassion, we have had the gift of being able to sponsor, write, mentor, and be a friend to 3 of these children. They receive over 80% of the monies by providing them with food, shelter, spiritual and educational teachings, and health care. It is a one on one sponsorship. We love them, we pray for them, and we always look forward to their letters and drawings.

I look forward introducing you to our 3 very special kids over the course of the next couple of months (all 3 of their birthdays are coming up). I never expected to learn so much about life and Jesus through a 6, 7, and 8 year old. It has been an amazing experience.

I thank God for Compassion International for such a wonderful program. I thank God for Emanuel, Marisol, and Gacheri for opening my eyes to the world. And most of all, I thank God and Jesus for being the ultimate example of love.

I want to encourage all our readers to look into the program for yourself if you are not already a sponsor. Providing so much for these kids sounds like it would be expensive, but it is far from it. I am embarrassed to say we don't sponsor more. A sponsorship is only $32 a month and is priceless to these kids! Right now there are children who have been waiting over 6 months to find a sponsor. Can you imagine your own child-hungry and sick-waiting for someone to help for more than 6 months? I can't. Talk to your spouse. Talk to your children. Consider giving your love for these kids. Please, please pray about it. It is urgent.

Sponsor a child online through Compassion's Christian child sponsorship ministry. Search for a child by age, gender, country, birthday, special needs and more.

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