Sunday, April 6, 2008

Thoughts about Compassion

Hey everyone,

I am reading a great book by Jim Wallis called "The Soul of Politics." It speaks about the need for true, prophetic, and wise leadership in every level of American life, and comments a great deal on compassion and social justice. This excerpt really spoke to me this week and I thought I would share it. Thank you for listening to our stories and the stories of those we have encountered. May your ears and hearts open to hear the stories of those around you.


Compassion always begins with listening. The word compassion literally means 'to suffer with,' to put yourself in someone else's position, to walk for a little while in her or his shoes. The listening that leads to compassion is the beginning of understanding.

Getting close enough to see, hear, touch, smell, and taste the reality of others is what always makes the difference. In listening to the stories of those so seemingly different from us, we find similar but unexpected voices inside of ourselves. Hearing one another's stories is the beginning of a new understanding and the foundation of compassionate action.
- Jim Wallis


Alicia Collins said...

Wallis'thoughts on compassion are so beautifully written. It reminds me about what Kay Warren said in "Dangerous Surrender" that to be fully present w/ another (compassion) you are in communion with Christ b/c He grieves for them too. Thus, you are grieving together for the suffering. I wrote down the book and author to get it. thanks for your thoughts
love you, Mom

P Barnes said...

What a blessing!! I am so glad I finally took the time to see what you are doing in Africa. I am a friend of Kara's in New Bern and she had written down the blog address about a month ago - well I let life get in the way and did not read it. Thank you for blessing my day. I have added this to my favorites - won't miss another opportunity to watch Christ at work in Africa.

Knowing He Hears,
Peggy Barnes