How do we begin to care less compulsively? First, we honor the gap between our feelings of care and compassion for someone and our desire to help immediately. When we feel another person’s pain, rather than leaping into any set or predetermined active response, we acknowledge that we don’t know exactly what this person needs. Our initial response must simply be our presence; we listen deeply and get alongside the suffering person. Inwardly, we direct a glance Godward and ask, “Lord, how would you have me respond here?” With this modest attitude we seek the whisperings of the Spirit, respect the mystery of our neighbor, and practice the art of compassionate nondoing.
—Trevor Hudson, A Mile in My Shoes: Cultivating Compassion (Upper Room Books, 2005)
Think of a circumstance where you are called to show compassion. Ask yourself, “Lord, how would you have me respond here?” Join the conversation.
[Jesus said] Whoever welcomes you welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me.
—Matthew 10:40 (NRSV)
Prayer for the Week
New every morning is your love, great God of light, and all day long you are working for good in the world. Stir up in us desire to serve you, to live peacefully with our neighbors and all your creation, and to devote each day to your Son, our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.
Early registration for our virtual event RESILIENCE | Practicing Compassion in a World of Conflict is ending on August 1st. For just $99, you can join us on September 29-30 as we explore the transformative power of compassion in a world marked by division. Learn more here.
(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
Looking for lectionary-based resources? Learn more about The Upper Room Disciplines.