George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin. What laws in our justice system prevent righteousness and justice? George not guilty but not innocent. Trayvon unarmed and dead. My heart goes out to all. Please Loving God, comfort, heal and reach the hearts of all those concerned. Guide us with your wisdom and convert our hearts. Help us to undo the Stand Alone Laws.
I was called to Gloria's bedside. She had been a supervising nurse at a hospital before her husband beat her so badly that she sustained brain injury, had slurred speech and was confined to a wheelchair. Gloria asked for prayers and scripture reading the morning I visited her. She wanted to keep going so that she could give encouragement and comfort to other residents, many of whom were cognitively and/or physically challenged.
Penny was one of the residents for whom Gloria was a significant support. Penny, crippled by rheumatoid arthritis and in a wheelchair, was developmentally severely handicapped. In the frustrations of her daily life, Penny had many temper tantrums. She often attempted throwing herself out of her chair. It was Gloria who calmed her by calling her name and reaching out and touching her hand. Penny stopped immediately when Gloria touched her.
There came a day when Gloria had to move to assisted living. She grieved having to leave and wondered if she would still be able to give comfort and encouragement to others. I assured her that she would because the Lord's love shone through her. Others would feel that love and peace and would be helped. I soon relocated to a different area in the state, and so I am not able to report on Penny and her welfare.
What I know is that God's mercy is new everyday. I am thankful I am able to share the Lord's love through the gifts he has given me.
What is God calling you to be or do at this time in your life? How are you experiencing God's mercy?
Let's enter a conversation. Write me your reflections on these questions in the Comments.
A reader of an article I published on glioblastoma, a deadly brain cancer, went to great lengths to find and contact me. You see my husband died from this cancer in 2011 and the article was published in 2010. The reader is a mother, 72, and her daughter who has the brain cancer is 52. We've exchanged emails and we've talked on the phone a couple of times.
People in this kind of situation feel like there is no one they can turn to, no one who will understand. Unfortunately the health providers are reluctant to spell out what to expect or even to give a prognosis. The daughter has decided to stop all treatment, to leave the hospital and go home and have hospice care. Please pray for Martha and Melanie and their family that they experience peace and comfort. Thank you.
Anne Belford (not her real name) told me her story. As a child her father continually abused her. She had younger siblings and said that she “took it” from her father so the younger ones wouldn’t get hurt. Now as an adult with a son, she wanted to know how to parent him. She wanted help with her flashbacks. She questioned whether she should now confront her dad. She questioned her spiritual beliefs.
We started with self affirmations:
· I am worthy of love.
· I am a good person.
· I am a caring Mother.
· I love myself.
She made up her own list. I encouraged her to journal her feelings, experiences, and dreams. Deciding to become creative, she took up knitting. In driving to my office she passed a church that had a changeable sign in front with statements and scriptures such as “God is Love.” We talked about the statements and what they meant to her. Over time she was able to claim her beliefs and took her son to a church close to where they lived. As an RN, she wanted more challenge in her work and was appointed the Infectious Disease Control Officer at a hospital. Thankful for blessings of healing.
"Now and then it is good to pause in our pursuit of happiness and just be happy."
~Guillaume Apollinaire (1880-1918), French poet, playwright, short story writer, novelist, and art critic
[Painting by Vlaminck]
Do your little bit of good where you are; it's those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world. ~Desmond Tutu
THE CHARTER FOR COMPASSION
The principle of compassion lies at the heart of all religious, ethical and spiritual traditions, calling us always to treat all others as we wish to be treated ourselves. Compassion impels us to work tirelessly to alleviate the suffering of our fellow creatures, to dethrone ourselves from the center of our world and put another there, and to honor the inviolable sanctity of every single human being, treating everybody, without exception, with absolute justice, equity and respect.
It is also necessary in both public and private life to r refrain consistently and empathically from inflicting pain. To act or speak violently out of spite, chauvinism, or self-interest, to impoverish, exploit or deny basic rights to anybody, and to incite hatred by denigrating others—even our enemies—is a denial of our common humanity. We acknowledge that we have failed to live compassionately and that some have even increased the sum of human misery in the name of religion.
We therefore call upon all men and women ~ to restore compassion to the center of morality and religion ~ to return to the ancient principle that any interpretation of scripture that breeds violence, hatred or disdain is illegitimate ~ to ensure that youth are given accurate and respectful information about other traditions, religions and cultures ~ to encourage a positive appreciation of cultural and religious diversity ~ to cultivate an informed empathy with the suffering of all human beings—even those regarded as enemies.
We urgently need to make compassion a clear, luminous and dynamic force in our polarized world. Rooted in a principled determination to transcend selfishness, compassion can break down political, dogmatic, ideological and religious boundaries. Born of our deep interdependence, compassion is essential to human relationships and to a fulfilled humanity. It is the path to enlightenment, and indispensable to the creation of a just economy and a peaceful global community.
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