The Art of Compassion


Being moved by another’s plight is a facet of the image of God inside each one of us. Though marred by the independence-feet-stamping of the fall, we still have the ability to be stirred into action by experiencing others’ sheer lack of human dignity. There are many ways in which this happens; for me, music is a powerful force that drags me kicking and screaming out of my nicely defined comfort zone and into a place where God can impart his values of righteousness and justice, mercy and compassion.  And sometimes it has to be that way- it seems that I’ve often cocooned myself from the desperation from the suffering of others by building up layers of unimportance. Such a time was our reflection to kick off CARE staff prayers. This week the prayer guide has been looking at ‘Feeding the hungry’. Hmm- I’ve not really experienced a great deal of hunger. So we watched this.

It’s what you do with it that presents the greatest challenge. Being discomforted whilst downing a cappuccino is one thing- knowing how to turn it into action is another. So here’s a suggestion. How about doing something for CompassionArt? This is the charity that Martin & Anna Smith started to bring songwriters together, giving their time and talents at no cost, to raise money for a number of charities. You could buy the book and CD or even, as my church is doing on Sunday, feature the video in your service to get the songs known and used. Because being moved is one thing, being stirred into action is a better thing.

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