One time, my sister and I were helping my grandma clean our her rental house. They had completely trashed the place leaving behind tons of trash and treasures. One of these treasures was a skateboard. My sister was fooling around on the skateboard and ate it. I immediately bust up laughing. That same house cleaning, my grandma is walking upstairs carrying the water basin for the Rainbow vacuum cleaner, trips over the cords and hoses, and falls spilling water all over herself. I wasn’t there, but when my sister told me what happened with fear in her eyes, I start busting up laughing. Even now when I think about it, I have to stifle a laugh.
Recently, I was riding on a golf cart with my mother. She was petrified. All I could do was laugh at her.
Compassion is not my first instinct. I have to actively seek it out most of the time. And I do – I want to be compassionate. But because of my wound and the way I learned to protect myself from the wound, I have little patience and compassion for people who I deem “don’t use their brains.” “If they would just think a little more, they wouldn’t be afraid.” “If they would have used their brain, they wouldn’t have punched themself in the nose.” Things like that.
Stupid, I know. I do the same things. My brain isn’t so great that I never fear. My flesh isn’t so perfect that I never don’t hurt myself. And in those situations, make no mistake, I am not compassionate with myself, either.
I need compassion. I need it for myself and I need to give it to others.
So, I’ve been praying for His heart. The Holy Spirit is compassion. “Show my your heart for your people.”
That’s when he took me to Broadway to see Dear Evan Hansen. I was sitting there and from lights up to lights down, I was sobbing. The first note had me in tears and I didn’t stop until after the show was over. I mean, every person on that stage (every character) was hurting and broken and I felt for them. All I could think was, “You poor boy. You are loved. I wish you knew how loved you are.” “You poor mother. You are seen. I wish you knew you weren’t alone.” “You poor father. You are understood. I wish you knew how much you were loved.” “You poor sister.” Every single one of them had my overflowing with compassion for them. And the mask I had to wear was able to be wrung out with all the tears that flowed into it that night.
When I left the theater, Jesus told me, “That’s only a fraction of the compassion I have in me.” My heart was so full, but not heavy laden. I was so happy to finally see some of his compassion and feel it in me.
I’m still asking for more compassion. And I am improving in my compassion. My nephew punched himself in the nose with his own knee over the weekend and I didn’t laugh out loud. I stopped myself, checked my heart, and tried to console him.
I guess the point is, “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish and it will be done for you” John 15:7.
Holy Spirit desires us to be compassionate like him. I have a growing desire to be compassionate like him. So when I asked for it, he overflowed me with it. He can do the same for you.