I want to share a little story about compassion that turned out to be a big turning point in my life. It is not pretty… my actions were not pretty… others actions were not pretty, but as always God can take something so ugly and make it beautiful.
For years my hubby and I have struggled with infertility… it is so hard, almost impossible to understand from the outside looking in, but can you imagine what it is like to be on the inside of that pain looking out. After years of no answers and no baby, I will admit it left me quite bitter. I don’t know if the bitterness turned into envy, jealousy, dread, cynicism, and judgment, or if these things turned into bitterness… either way it was not pretty! Although most people that didn’t know me well would have never seen this part of me… I got so good at posing! I am not bragging about the posing… it is just the truth. It is sad when we can’t let others know who we really are… hiding our dirty, little secrets.
A couple years ago I had the opportunity to go spend a few days away, trying to get to know more of who I am in Christ… drawing closer to my Heavenly Father… receiving healing for those things is my life that were not so great. It was something that I knew would be good, but really deep down I couldn’t see where this could heal what needed healing the most… my broken heart. A broken heart??? Yep, even though I had a personal relationship with Christ… I felt that God had broken my heart by not giving me what I wanted the most… to have a baby. If He knew the pain this caused me, how could He be trusted? How could He fix what I felt He had broken?
There were many times I would be out shopping and I would see mothers treating their kids just awful… screaming at them, pulling on them, neglecting them, as I saw it. I would let that bitterness come rising up and once again question God why He would let someone like that have a child, but not me? I spent a lot of time comparing myself to others, which is never a good idea! I would watch the news and see massive neglect of children. Kids just being thrown away… and of course the millions of babies being aborted every day! I saw these people as monsters! I had no compassion or understanding anywhere in my heart for women that would throw “something” in the trash that was so precious to me.
Now, back to these days I spent away on a “spiritual retreat” of sorts. There were probably 20 women or so, all of who I believe God orchestrated to be there for whatever reason. But there was only one woman who had flown all the way across the country to attend this event… this was the woman God would use to change my life.
She was a beautiful woman… she had long, dark wavy hair… a little exotic looking might be a good way to describe her. She seemed to be nice, soft spoken, maybe a little reserved, but that could have been from the wear and tear from travel too. There came a point in our stay that we were asked to share things about ourselves. There were women that shared about a loss of a husband or a child, trauma as a child, miscarriages, not very easy things to share, but so necessary to bring into the light… although at the time I certainly could not see where this would help anybody! Just being honest! I did share about some things in my life including the devastation of never having a baby. Well, this woman I wrote about earlier was the last person to share. She said she had put it off as long as she could, because what she had to share was so bad. She shared that she had had an abortion. Maybe I have lived a sheltered life, but I had never come face to face with anyone that would ever admit that. She didn’t look like a monster… she seemed very loving and caring… this was not what I expected at all. I can honestly say that at that very moment something clicked in my heart. I could see the victims of the act of abortion were not just those precious babies, but in so many cases it was like the face I was looking at right at that moment. I could feel God prodding at my heart… reach out to her… comfort her… show her My compassion and love. I kept saying inside, “NO, I don’t want to do that… I can’t do that!” But two seconds later I reached over to her and told her I was sorry she had to carry that pain around with her. I told her that there is nothing that God can’t make right. At the time all this took place, I really had no idea what God had done for me through this woman’s confession.
Days later, after I was able to process things a little more… I went to this lovely lady and told her how God used her in my healing. I can say now that even though abortion is still so wrong and I cannot even comprehend that despicable act… I do look with compassion on those that desperately struggle and choose that.
This was my story and it happened to be about abortion in a sense, but the reason for this is to share how God can change our hearts in those darkest times to show compassion towards others. In Matthew it says, “But when He (Jesus) saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd.” Look at your own life… who is one person or group of people you have a problem showing compassion to? There are times in all our lives that we need compassion… stupid things we say or do… thoughtless moments that we hurt someone. We all want to receive compassion, but how willing are we to show it? For me, trying to put myself in someone else’s shoes sometimes helps me do that. It is always easier to judge someone for something we have never gone through.
For me showing compassion has nothing to do with sin… sin is sin! If sin can keep me from showing compassion then what would be my fate if God thought the same?
“Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous; not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing.” 1 Peter 3:8-9
I pray that opening up my heart to share this will make a difference in your life… it has for me again… it was a good reminder.
Rejoicing in Truth