Friday, February 18, 2011

Compassion and Comfort

 “Children are meant to understand compassion and comfort because they have received compassion and comfort - and this should be in the family setting. A family should be a place where comfort is experienced and understood, so that the people are prepared to give comfort to others.” Edith Schaffer

When I first saw this quote from Edith Schaffer I was not surprised that it was written by her. In all her writings on family, her compassion and her love of creating a place of comfort for all within the family circle is evident in her lifestyle. It is an overflow of the love of God within her life that spreads to all within the environment she created.

I rejoiced to see that she seemed to feel the same way about compassion and comfort and the value it has in our homes  as I do, but more importantly that it should be a priority in the care of our children and therefore in the care of all within our immediate circle of influence.

How can we expect our children to imitate these values if we do not give them these experiences in the way we relate to each and every child within our lives.
It should not matter if we have access to one or 20 children. Children model the behaviours they see in the adults they are exposed to and we have a responsibility not only as parents but to all children we come into contact with to create an environment of compassion and comfort.

This can be done with our thoughts, our words, facial expressions and the way we interact with others.

We can make a difference in the world. We have the opportunity to send into the world young adults who have been children that have benefited from a home that is filled with compassion and comfort.

I believe that as a society we have little compassion for people in general and very little compassion for children especially. Generally there seems to be a more important focus on the environment and the creatures that are within it than the people who are responsible for them.

How can a society that values environmental and monetary concerns above the care and compassion of children have any thought for how those children, that they wish to influence for their own gains, that those children may be concerned with anything at all except their own desires, as this is what has been modelled to them over the years.

I have always loved the quote" The hand that rocks the the hand that rules the world" and while this mostly refers to mothers I think we can use it here in relating to the importance of compassion and comfort.

If a child has grown up with these values as a mainstay of their life, we can expect that as a general rule of thumb that they will pass on those values as well. Even if life has not been a bed of roses we still can have compassion and place the comfort of others above our own selfish needs. In fact I believe it is a requirement of Christian living.

I am a great believer in the importance of compassion over many other values. When we have compassion for our little children I think we show God's love and mercy as a basis on which we base our lives.

Compassion is an underrated value in our lives and I am so grateful that I have been exposed to writers like Edith Schaffer who lived their lives in full view of others and believed that family, compassion and comfort were all an extension of the love of God and  then had the ability to share that with others.

 Blessings to you and your homes,


noreen said...

Beautifully said Gae! I'm in total agreement with you!

Anonymous said...

I have to be honest Gae, that compassion was not a virtue I admired in people or wanted for myself.

It wasn't until Our Lord blessed me with my girl, that I learned the true meaning of compassion for less fortunate ones.

It wasn't until I was humbled to such a level, that I realized that compassion is felt when humility is in your life.

Thank you for this post and for sharing yourself!



Simply Be... said...

I so agree with you Gae!
Children mirror so much of what they see and hear from us adults. It is something we must be constantly aware of and try to foster godly virtues in children by manifesting them in our own selves!
I've always enjoyed Edith Schaffer's writings :-)
She had such lovely ideas about how to make a beautiful home environment for the family.
And I like what you said about having a compassionate heart , even if life has not been a bed of roses for you.
I see this in my youngest son.
He has had some tragic times growing up, but still maintains a soft and gentle heart toward others. And as his parents, we get comments to the effect of "he's such a lovely young man, you've raised him well" etc.
But we know that deep prayer has undergirded his life and the glory goes to God alone!
Yes indeed..compassion is essential in a disciple of Jesus who aims to live an authentic christian life!
"Jesus meek and humble of Heart, make my heart like unto Thine!

Leanne said...

Thank you for sharing Gae, It was beatifully put.

Marla Grace said...

Beautiful Gae! You are a wonderful inspiration!:)


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