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EVERYONE NEEDS COMPASSION.  That's what we sang in church today.  It's kind of an older song - not hymn-old but its been around for awhile.  It resonated with me but then again it always has.  Everyone needs compassion.  Everyone.

I've been out among the humans this weekend.  The kids and I went over to the mall, and for the first time in my entire life, I actually hesitated.  Would it be okay?  There have been so many "incidents" lately - even here in my little town that I actually got nervous for a second.  Would it be safe for me and my multi-racial family to be out amongst all the people?  It was strange to think that way, but people yelling at your husband will do that to you and hearing stories of other friends of mine - not random stories on The Facebook, but actual people I know having actual unpleasant interactions.  

It was fine.  We went to the mall and I got my ears repierced -- they'd completed closed up since I'd stopped wearing earrings nearly ten years ago when The Boy was born.  He loved pulling on my ears. I felt a kinship with the people around me.  I let people merge and help open doors, and picked up dropped items.  I wanted to make sure that every single interaction I had with the people around me was positive.  I've heard from a lot of my friends that has been their reaction too -- do something; spread kindness; act.

I have always said that everyone does, in fact, need compassion.  We need to lead with love and that love should extend to everyone.  I got this idea from Jesus - you may have heard of him.  He got tons of flack for having out with prostitutes, the poor and the "unclean".  He didn't care where you live, who you lived with or what you did for a living -- He was all about the love.  All of this is well, and good when you are reading a story in church, but it becomes a different matter when face to face with actual humans.  It might be hard for some people to love college kids passionately protesting.  It might be hard to love those who oppose us politically.  I suppose that is why things are blowing up on The Facebook.  My feed hasn't been too horrible -- a testament to my small circle of friends, or my own winnowing process - I don't know.  There have been things, even today that fill my heart with sorrow and confuse me, but I know the people behind them -- we are friends.  I don't understand their stance, but they don't understand mine so I guess we are kind of even.  

The song I quoted earlier continues on:  "Everyone needs compassion, the kindness of the Savior; the hope of Nations."  I think that is pretty profound.  We need compassion and the kindness of the man who sat beside the woman at the well -- a woman EVERYONE in town was talking about; a woman who had been rejected by everyone -- and no doubt been kicked of her weekly Bible study for "living a life of sin."  She was on the outs, but he showed her kindness and her life was transformed.  

Compassion and kindness:  the hope of Nations; the hope of our Nation.  Spread the love.  Be kind.  If you see something happening that is wrong -- act -- Kindness and true love are active.  They aren't passive.  We must rise up and be kind to one another and we must defend the weak.  Jesus himself said that true religion is to care for the widows and orphans; to shower them with our compassion.  There are many who feel orphaned these days, and they are waiting to see what will happen next.  It would be astounding if instead of their fears of hatred, segregation and name-calling, they experienced only love.

Everyone needs compassion, the kindness of the Savior -- the hope of Nations.

I live in hope and you can go ahead and merge ahead of me.  I can wait.

--Jen