Last Sunday in church Phil quoted from Henri Nouwen’s book Wounded Healer. The quote struck me as being somewhat profound, so I thought I would share it because it is something that I have been thinking about all week.
Compassion is not pity. Pity lets us stay at a distance. It is condescending.
Compassion is not sympathy. Sympathy is for superiors over inferiors.
Compassion is not charity. Charity is for the rich to continue in their status over the poor.
Compassion is born of God. It means entering into the other person’s problems. It means standing in the other person’s shoes. It is the opposite of professionalism. It is the humanizing way to deal with people. Just as bread without love can bring war instead of peace, professionalism without compassion will turn forgiveness into a gimmick.
Henri Nouwen is a Catholic Priest who fought severe depression and found great comfort in serving God, and by seeking to understand others in the midst of their “stuff”.
I have not read Wounded Healer, but it will be the next book I look into.