"Compassion is the sometimes fatal capacity for feeling what it is like to live inside somebody else’s skin. It is the knowledge that there can never really be any peace and joy for me until there is peace and joy finally for you too." - Frederick Buechner
I wondered why Buechner spoke about compassion being a 'fatal capacity', but on reflection I think it has something to do with being drawn into the world of those who are in pain. We need to 'feel' the pain of people in trouble, but when our compassion causes fatigue in our own lives, then we can be stepping on dangerous territory.
The second part of his words strike me as being very UNSELFISH - it is the ability to realise that my 'peace and joy' can't be fully enjoyed if I know that you are having difficulty.
2 Kings 13:23 - But the Lord was gracious to them and had compassion and showed concern for them because of his covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. To this day he has been unwilling to destroy them or banish them from his presence.
What do you think?
Living in Grace