Recently I experienced Montezuma's Revenge when I came back from Mexico. As I was curled up in a ball from stomach and back pain, I thought about how many people live with pain.
Why does it take me getting sick to be compassionate for the suffering of others? Even when my husband gets ill, I can sometimes act indifferent by just sticking to my schedule.
Compassion alleviates our suffering. More than when we are well, we need loved ones near us when we are in pain. The smallest gesture of bringing someone soup, a backrub, or even a note of support can make a big difference. It may not change the circumstances, but it reminds us that we are loved and not alone in our difficulties.
The role of religion is compassion. Compassion is associated with so much good in the world. Just think of Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King Jr, and especially Jesus, who placed the highest value on how we care for others.
Colossians 3:12 says, "Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience."
Life is hard, and suffering is a universal experience made easier by empathy and kindness. Compassion unites us together, fosters well-being, and buffers stress and anxiety.
I want to follow Christ's lead and have a compassionate heart that refreshes others with loving-kindness.