Photo: Annie Spratt – (CC0 1.0)


What gives me the right to be sad at a funeral for someone I don’t know? 
She asked.

Compassion, I said.

Looking back I can see compassion as the heartfelt feeling of one person for another.
It is a soul shouldering a burden.
It is an arm around a back.
It is an unexpected whisper.

It is beautiful.

A father sees his daughter frustrated by shoelaces and bends his knee to help.
Compassion.

A stranger stops at 2 A.M. to help a stalled car.
Compassion.

A savior interrupts the funeral for an only child, and raises a mother’s dead.
Compassion.


And sometimes we are shoe-lace soft enough to receive help,
And if not then maybe that’s what stalled cars and dead children are for:
To remind us, not that this world is
unforgiving,
and hopeless,
and fallen,
and torn,
and bitter,
and broken.


But to remind us that we are.

That we are in need of bent knees and stopped help.
That we need a kind hand to touch our coffins to raise our dead to renew our faith.

And so have we been shown,
Let us show
Compassion.

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