Ramblings From a Compassionate Heart
A Series of Commentaries
by Mary T. Hoffman
prayer, compassion, love, fear, hate, cruelty, abuse, cowardice, self-indulgence, sadism, truth, lies, pain, suffering, peace, emotions, comfort, creatures, humans, people, animals, God, Jesus, Christ, Holy Spirit, church, religion, politics
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Taking A Heart-Break
29 November 1998
A few weeks ago my husband and I were talking about empathy and compassion, when I remarked that what many people need is a "heart" break. We hear about the need for a "coffee" break or an "exercise" break, but "exercising" our emotions to feel for other creatures of God (human or otherwise), I believe, can increase our capacity to care.
Psalm 34:18 (KJV) states:
The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart;
and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.
Again we find in Psalm 51:17 (KJV):
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit:
a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.
However, it seems as though the people who truly care have to carry an enormous weight which others only too gladly shift onto their over-burdened shoulders. And to add insult to injury, those burden-carriers are made to feel "weak" for having a compassionate heart.
Recently, I heard about a study in which it was found that the part of the mind that is used most often actually becomes "stronger", reacting more quickly. An example used was that of "anger". People were found to become more "adept" at becoming angry. Practice really does make perfect, as the old saying goes!
Perhaps what is needed in the world is a little more exercise in "broken-heartedness" by a lot more people.
From my heart,
Watercolor painting by Mary T. Hoffman
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