I thought a lot about this as I wasn't sure compassion had totally left our society at all. I was, however, thinking that compassion is a relative term and it is fairly individual. As a person who has longed for compassion many times while my husband was out of work for approximately 2 years, I think I have a real idea of what is and is not missing. Interestingly enough another friend posted a note later that same day. She graciously has allowed me to share...
"My oldest son, Eric and his wife, Brittney are trying to adopt children. After 9 long years of trying for children in various ways, with countless disappointments, it looks like they may be adopting 3 children, all siblings. We already love these children, even though I haven't met them in person. I love them because Eric and Brittney love them. I love them because they will be our grandchildren.
Today is Eric's Birthday. When I asked him what he wanted for his birthday, he promptly replied, "I just want money to get my kids". He went on to explain that they will need not only money for the legal fees, but also beds, dressers, clothes, etc. I've been trying to think of ways to help them.... selling furniture, holding fund-raisers, starting a "family adoption fund", ect... I've been worrying about it alot, mostly laying awake in the middle of the night, struggling for sleep.
This morning they were searching Craig's list for used bunk beds. They came across a set and called. The older lady who answered the phone sounded reluctant, but invited them over to view the used beds. When they arrived, the sweet older gentleman explained the bunk beds were built by him for their boys. The woman was tearing up and was having a rough time selling the beds, but realized they were no longer needed.
When they asked Eric and Brittney how many kids they had and why they were interested in bunk beds, Eric explained their story of infertility, and how they quite possibly may be adopting 3 children in just a few weeks!
The couple glanced at each other and with a slight nod to each other, they told Eric that they would like to GIVE the beds to them, as long as they allowed them to pray for them.
As they prayed, they asked God for many more blessings to fall upon Eric and Brittney."
This is compassion at work in America.
Compassion must come from the heart, not the government. Compassion must be freely given, not legislated. Compassion must be individual or it ceases to have meaning. Compassion is a gift we give one another and it never ceases to amaze me how much compassion there is in America. I have enjoyed compassion from family, friends, neighbors, strangers and once when I was young my family was shown compassion even by the Hell's Angels.
It is here, it is all around us and I am grateful to live in a country where it is given and felt by so many.