Sept. 3, 2010: We may be the angel another person needs, by Jennie Thrash

We are a community filled with hurting people; the walking wounded. They’re all around us, and “they” are us.

Whether we have survived violence, witnessed violence or been heartbroken to find out that someone we love has been a victim of violence, we are all affected by it. It is not something that just happens to other people, to those who we think have made poor decisions or have done something to somehow deserve it. It can happen to anyone, and it does… every day.

There is no excuse for it, but there is hope for healing. I believe that healing begins when even one person believes and shows compassion. Compassion originates from God, and when we show compassion for another human being, we are being God’s hands and feet right here in our own community.

So many people around us just need someone to see them, to notice them instead of looking the other way. How many times during our busy days do we just walk right by people without even acknowledging them? How often do we think that “it’s not my business to get involved” when we see someone being mistreated?

In order to show compassion, we must first slow down and notice each other. When we do that, it makes all the difference. People around us become real human beings to us rather than just something that is getting in our way and irritating us.

But what if we are one of the walking wounded?

The beautiful truth that I have found is that what we offer to others, we experience ourselves.  This truth comes from a program called Conscious Discipline, which has been a journey of discovery for me that truly lines up with the Word of God. Even if we don’t have anyone in our lives to show us compassion, we can experience it through giving it away to someone else. God can give our pain a purpose, and that means that he can use our painful experiences to help someone else heal.

Healing from violence is a journey, and there is no time limit. However, I believe that we can and should do everything we can to help shorten that time for those around us.

I challenge you and me today to notice and show compassion to even one person we encounter. We might just be the angel they have been waiting and praying for. It’s bringing to life the saying, “Be kind to everyone you meet, because we’re all fighting some kind of battle.”

— Jennie Thrash does mission work for a new local ministry she helped get started, called “The Father’s House.”  She is also a Certified Conscious Discipline Instructor.

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