sometimes: making space for grace and compassion in action

 

Sometimes we forget to be grateful, fail to recognise how very blessed we are to sleep in a bed with a roof over our head, a table laden with food, cupboards bulging at the seams and a freezer stuffed full of extra provisions as well.

Sometimes we forget to thank God for daily graces, to see how wonderfully He provides for all our needs and how blessed we truly are in every conceivable way, even to simply wake up and breathe each day.

Sometimes news headlines and the constant media bombardment on our screens wash over us with lethargic indifference, fail to capture our attention or engender a compassionate response within—so inured can we become to a world’s distress, poverty and duress.

Then sometimes we STOP. Stop and put ourselves within another’s shoes, think about the people behind the news events, pause to ponder their predicament, examine their lives via our imagination and wonder what we can do to help them.

If we do, we might just see how much our Saviour loves and aches for them, become caught up with His heart in prayer, in care and compassion, in being living examples of His love and grace in action, and maybe in writing a poem about their plight…

What do we know?

Lord,

What do we know of empty, distended bellies

bereft of sustenance, where choice is an unheard

of word and survival is the name of the game; where life

itself hangs by a slender thread and starvation

haunts each waking moment like a skeletal spectre

rattling its chains and calling your name?

 

What do we know of owning just one set of clothes to drape

across our diminishing frame; one pot in which to cook

a few dry grains, if we’re one of the lucky ones with

something at hand to eat today, instead of foraging,

walking miles with weary tread to gather a handful

of flowers—mere weeds to water our thirsty bodies?

 

What do we know of watching our children shrinking

before our very eyes, becoming wasted, emaciated, aged

way before their time, lying still with barely enough energy

to play or cry, their voices weak and eyes now clouded,

sad, pleading, bleak—breaking our own aching hearts

while we cradle them close, watching them suffer and die?

©joylenton2017

“Then these ‘sheep’ are going to say, ‘Master, what are you taking about? When did we ever see you hungry and feed you, thirsty and give you a drink? And when did we ever see you sick or in prison and come to you? Then the King will say, ‘I’m telling the solemn truth: whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me—you did it to me'” ~ Matthew 25: 37-40 The Message

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18 thoughts on “sometimes: making space for grace and compassion in action

  1. Dear Joy,
    Yes, it is so good to STOP and consider those who are hurting. The quote from Mother Teresa is so good to help us to see that there ARE small things around each of us that we can do to give love. Your poem is so convicting and heart wrenching. I have so much to be thankful for, and yet I still complain about the weather or inconsequential things around me. Thank you so much for these beautiful thoughts today. Love, Hugs and Blessings to you, Dear Friend!

    • Dear Bettie, your words “convicting and heart wrenching” mirror how I’ve been feeling about those in greater need of prayer and care. It’s a rather emotive and compelling poem where the words just spilled out of me in response to an inner ache for the suffering and lost. We may feel limited but we trust in an unlimited God who can multiply any small contribution we are able to make. I’m rather fond of Mother Teresa’s wisdom and the gems she has left us to ponder over. Grumbling and complaining come so easily to the human spirit, yet when we see how others can live happy and satisfied lives on far less than we have, it brings a wake up call to our spirit and helps stir gratitude within. I’m so thankful for your honest, tender hearted sharing here, my friend. May your weekend be blessed with lots of good things. Love and hugs to you! xo

  2. Oh yes, Joy. With you, I long to be a living example of His love and grace. To look at others through His heart of love and compassion. I love the Mother Teresa quote, too. It’s the things we do with great love that matter. Love and hugs to you! I hope you and your husband and family will be able to go out together this weekend!

    • Oh Trudy, you already are a person like this: ” I long to be a living example of His love and grace. To look at others through His heart of love and compassion”, because it spills out of your comments and every word you write on your blog. The fact you still yearn to be even more other-centred and caring is evidence of God at work in you and how you share His loving heart for the hurting. Thank you so much for praying and thinking of us. We’re still in need of further recovery before we can make it out for the celebratory meal, but we hope it won’t be long before we do! Blessings and hugs. xo

  3. Joy, I am thinking of you and your beloved today, each of you enduring (yet again!) great challenges yet also raising your gazes upward, then outward in great love: toward God, each other, and others in need.

    You inspire me. As always. I welcome your reminders today, giving fresh thanks for the rich resources available for recovery. In the dailiness of caregiving, may I not take these for granted.

    • Laurie, we are truly thankful for your kind thoughts and prayers! We’re both extremely fatigued (perhaps me most of all), largely because of finally being able to relax the hyper-vigilance I have had over my beloved’s care. Not that he doesn’t have to be very careful still, but despite this he left hospital in a far better state than anticipated! I wrote something about it on Words of Joy this week. It’s our mini miracle, helped along by faithful praying friends like you! 🙂
      You and your Dreamer are on my mind each day as I hope and pray for recovery to be swifter than anticipated and patient endurance and strength to be given to both of you while you seek to adjust to a new ‘normal’ and not lose sight of the good things happening along the way. We also want to remember your words: “In the dailiness of caregiving, may I not take these for granted” as we negotiate the path before us, and to stay mindful of our many blessings. I have been greatly encouraged and inspired by your Caring Bridge updates! Blessings of greater health, strength, peace and rest to you and yours, my friend. xo

      • That you carry us in prayer alongside so many you love is a marvelous glimpse of God’s love. Thanks for those prayers. may “greater health, strength, peace and rest” inhabit and overflow you both!

      • Laurie, thank you so much for your returned blessing! If we only looks inwards in prayer, we can miss golden grace opportunities to help bless, support and encourage others. I’ve discovered that the more we give to others in love, the less we tend to become so worried or preoccupied with our own concerns. Love given away is always multiplied; such is God’s amazing arithmetic! May you know an abundance of love, comfort and care in the days ahead, sweet friend. xo ❤

    • Michael, I’ve so often been inspired by your timely messages about prayer, care and compassion, so it warms my heart to have been a source of those things for you, and (hopefully) for your readers. Bless you, Brother! 🙂 x

    • Hello Cheryl Anne, it’s lovely to see you here, my friend! Whenever I read your blog posts I find a woman after God’s own heart and a lovely sister in the faith who shares things that are also on my heart. Therefore I am thankful to have been given words that speak to you too. Bless you for being here. ❤

  4. So powerful! THIS: “If we do, we might just see how much our Saviour loves and aches for them, become caught up with His heart in prayer, in care and compassion, in being living examples of His love and grace in action, and maybe in writing a poem about their plight.” Its important for us to love each other.

    • This is evident in how you treat and respond to others, Tara: “Its important for us to love each other”, and it’s beautiful for your readers, friends and all who come across your words. May you be given even greater openings and opportunities to show God’s love to others in your daily life. Bless you, friend! xo

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