Acknowledging Our Humanness In Our Search for Compassion

This week’s Devotional was written by, in my opinion, a brilliant and discerning mind:  Susan Means.  Susan brings us a theme that resonates deeply with any soul.  I sincerely hope that you enjoy Susan’s words as much as I have…

It will be somewhat difficult to make today’s scripture elaborate my chosen topic so with some trepidation I will make a valiant effort to show a connection.

There are times when, like the psalmist, we cry out to God from what seems like the “ends of the earth”. We feel vulnerable and weary, we cannot see what is ahead and we don’t know what to do. Disagreements, hurts, indifference and self-concern divide us. Reaching out we take a hand that helps us to climb and see a new perspective. Learning to become more open to others teaches us many things. Openness cultivates in us an attitude of honesty. We see ourselves, as well as others, more clearly. We identify the ways in which we need one another. Little by little our hearts, which can be so easily become hardened to the needs of others, are changed into caring and compassionate hearts.


Psalms 142:1-7 The Message

I cry out loudly to GOD,

Loudly I plead with GOD for mercy

I spill out all my complaints before him,

And spell out my troubles in detail.

“As I sink in despair, my spirit ebbing away.

You know how I’m feeling,

Know the danger I’m in,

The traps hidden in my path,

Look right, look left___

There’s not a soul who cares what happens!

I’m up against it, with no exit___

Bereft, left alone.

I cry out, GOD, call out:

“You’re my last chance, my only hope for life:”

Oh listen, please listen;

I’ve never been this low.

Rescue me from those who are hunting me down;

I’m no match for them.

Get me out of this dungeon

So I can thank you in public

Your people will form a circle around me

And you’ll bring me showers of blessing”


“Real training for service asks for a hard and often painful process of self-emptying. The main problem of service is to be the way without being in the way.”

Henri J. M. Nouwen

“Find the poem in all persons. Listen to their music and find the tunes they hear.”

 William Carlos Williams: M.D. and poet

“God is as dependent on you as you are on him.”

 Mahalia Jackson


As you think about the week ahead, consider the things you might do to reflect God’s presence in the world.

Perhaps you could call or visit someone who is housebound.

Smile at a person that looks and acts different.

Remember three positive things that happen each day.


What are the situations that discourage you?

What do you need to control?

What might God be inviting you to risk?

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