At approximately 1:45am on Friday August 8th, my In-Laws house caught fire. There was substantial damage to their home of 40+ years. Many of their most cherished items and keepsakes were lost to the flames forever.
BUT, thanks be to God, the smoke detector alerted them and they got out without injury.
Today, I just want to touch on the topic of showing compassion for those who have gone through something. Compassion should ALWAYS lead us to action of some kind. While we ask God for the guidance to be of service to people in times of need, we must remind ourselves to not only sympathize, but also empathize. Sympathy is a feeling of pity and sorrow for another person’s misfortune. Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another’s misfortune.
If someone tells you their house caught fire and your immediate response is, “Well, at least you’re alive and okay”, you may be missing an opportunity to be compassionate towards them. Granted, it is very true that anyone who makes it out of a house fire alive, is truly blessed. It is also true that destroyed items are just ‘things’…a lot of which can be replaced. But keep in mind that people are human with emotions. Often times, people may not need the spiritualized, logical pep talk. Instead, people just need to know that you care.
My in-laws home insurance company has put them up in a hotel while repairs and renovations are done on their home. The work on their home is scheduled to take between four and eight months. So my husband and I made a decision that we want them to stay in our home instead…a place where they can feel at home during this unsettling time. So this week, I am in the process of transforming one of our bedrooms (which has inadvertently become my shoe closet) into a home-away-from-home oasis for them. They move in on this Saturday! This was our way of showing compassion for all they have gone through. As we pray, we are also acting to be a blessing as much as in our capacity to do so. Deuteronomy 16:17 — Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the LORD your God that he has given you.
It could be a house fire, a job loss, a health crisis, or any number of things you may hear about that effect someone from day to day. Simply ask yourself, how you would like to be treated in the event an unexpected hardship falls upon you? Ask someone how you can help them through their rough patch. Volunteer to pray with them. Offer assistance. Show with your words and actions that you have a heart that feels for them. I promise you, that compassion will go a very long way. No one wants to feel alone.
1 Peter 3:8 — Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind.
*Wednesdays With INDIGO*