Monday, July 23, 2012

Can You Believe It!

In the tender compassion of our God, the dawn from on high shall break upon us, to shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death, and to guide our feet into the way of peace. (Luke 1:78-79)

It is hard to believe that in the midst of bad things happening around us and to us that there could be peace. That in the midst of heartbreaking sorrow, in the midst of a seemingly unbearable grief, there could possibly be anything that resembles calmness. But it happens.

In and of ourselves we don't possess the ability to do much but panic and worry when trouble finds us. Yet this verse from Luke's gospel tells us about the "tender compassion" of God that "breaks" upon us. There is something about the way this verse is written that makes me think about a compassion that doesn't just tap us politely on the shoulder but rather surprises and shocks us with its a ocean wave breaking over us in the surf.

Yesterday that tender compassion was found in a couple who took the time to ask, "How are things?" As I shared about the struggles Glenn and I face, there were tears welling up in my eyes. I could feel tender compassion flowing through my friends. I hadn't asked for it nor had the conversation started because I was looking for it. Rather, it was just there!

And so they became a conduit for the compassion of God. As my one friend pulled me into a hug, compassion broke over me like a giant wave. It was powerful and brought great peace. It lit up the darkness around me.

Unexpected compassion. Startling in its abundance. Powerful in its presence. Brilliant in the midst of darkness.

Can you believe it?

grace and peace...


  1. Love the writing C! I once felt that unexpected compassion. One early Sept. I went to enjoy Labor Day at the beach with my parents. By the end of that same September, I had spent nine days sleeping on a hospital floor waiting for my 63-year-old father to die. That same Friday I flew six states away to bury my father, flew back six states on Saturday, left my mother alone for the first time in 42 years, drove back to my house one state away on Sunday, and somehow in a stupor go back to work on Monday. Not one to have many friends or much of a support system all I ever heard was "How's your Mom doing?" A good question with well-meaning intension but I noticed something ... not one person ever asked how I was doing! All but one long-time friend closer to my father's grave site than I was. He took the time to ask. A giant wave of compassion over the sad, broken, faith-damaged, hopeless person I now was. Thank you Lord for those kind, gentle, beautiful people who notice when we are screaming silently inside and make the time to ask! You are treasured far more than we may be able to express! Lisa B.

  2. That's a powerful story. You are right about the treasure of those who dare to ask us how we are doing. grace and peace to you in your journey....c.