Monday, March 12, 2012

the compassion of a brown dog

My Church is having a three day mini-retreat this week and yesterday,we all met the Sister that will be leading it.The theme will be Compassion and she told a humorous story about what a difference we can make in other's lives.

When she was a young teacher, there was a girl that came late every day to her second period class and was always poorly put together when she arrived.Uncombed hair,worn ,wrinkled clothes and so forth.The young sister didn't have a clue how to handle this so she just went with it and treated the girl like everyone else.When the girl graduated, she sought the sister out to thank for understanding what she was going through and making her feel O.K. about herself. Later, Sister Therese found out that the girl's father was an alcoholic and the girl's mother was mentally ill and it fell to the young student to get her sister ready for school and many other things.

Right now,in my life,I am being called to forgiveness and compassion and at first it didn't seem easy but then the gusting wind of the Spirit blew through my heart and whisked away the human passions and replaced them with precious gifts. Compassion says;"How would I like to be treated in this instance?And, of course, the answer is with body hugging,eye gazing, deep, never ending love.The only place where this commodity splashes in complete abundance is in the Heart of God .Am I His instrument or not?

I don't recall great chunks of compassion as I grew up.There weren't many hands of help reaching out to the poor waif that I felt I was.But now,and here is the great gift of backward reflection,I do recall this:when I would leave my house because the chaos and recriminations were getting to be too burdensome,I would sit on my front porch not holding back the tears.To my side would appear Patchy ,my sweet,loved only me, brown dog.And she would put her nose under my arm.Many times, in my anger, I would push her away but always she would do this.Can I do less?


Missy said...

What a sweet story. When have you ever not been compassionate???? (Is this retreat only for retired people? I hope you have to get up really early!)

Anonymous said...

Interesting musings. Dogs have great compassion. When you read the Gospel story of "The Rich Man and (the beggar)Lazarus" God points this out. We read that Lazarus, poor and covered in sores, was laid at the rich man's gate daily. However, the rich man was too selfish to reach out and help. Yet, God points out that "even the dogs came and licked his wounds." I have been sorrowful/tearful and felt my dog move up close to me and try to give comfort. What incredible creatures God has made!