Preventing Compassion Fatigue
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?”
“Whoever welcomes you welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me.”
—Matthew 10:40 (NRSV)
Prayer for the Week
Give me the eyes to see when others hurt, the ears to hear when others cry, and the courage to bring light into their darkness.
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(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
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