Her words made my breathe catch in my throat. On an ordinary Thursday morning driving into work, I heard this reflection:” ‘Be compassionate as your Father is compassionate’. I wonder sometimes how seriously we have taken these words to heart. I only know that there is too much suffering in the world. Too many homeless, hungry, abused, rejected, poor, lonely, sick, grieving, fragmented, defeated, lost and oppressed. There are too many bombs, too many wars, too many squashed beetles. The world is hip deep in tears; compassion is not an option, it is a matter of survival”.
Sue Monk Kidd, known previously to me only through her best seller The Mermaid Chair, shared the most complete definition of compassion I’ve ever embraced. Immediately, I turned off the cd player so that I could give as much mental attention, aside from what was needed to operate this car, to those words.
Just as I was ready to just stumble into the ordinary routine of my day, these words proved I couldn’t. I needed to wake up to the world around me. The forlorn renter down the hall from me, the kind but flirty janitor who makes me uncomfortable, the jerk who just cut me off, everyone could benefit from some compassion. For Kidd is right, there is just too much suffering in this world to not try to survive through it together.