Wednesday, March 23, 2011


"The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love."  Psalm 145:8

Scripture is full of examples of the God's compassion and love. As I read scripture, I am reminded to not only trust in God's mercy, but to show this same compassion to others. This is easy to write and to say, but often difficult to remember in the daily grind of life.

On my commute to work, I try to remember to use the time to pray. As God brought people to mind this morning, I lifted them up in prayer. As I got closer to work, I realized my thoughts had shifted to negative ones regarding the day ahead. Out of respect for those I work with and confidentiality, I will not go into details. Suffice it to say, however, that I can become discouraged with my work. My patience is tried, my heart breaks, and I question my ability to offer anything of relevance to those I am called to counsel and serve.

As I wrestled with these thoughts, I heard the following words being sung on the radio:

Everyone needs compassion
A love that's never failing
Let mercy fall on me
Everyone needs forgiveness
A kindness of a Savior
The hope of nations

He can move the mountains
My God is Mighty to save
He is Mighty to save
Author of salvation
He rose and conquered the grave
Jesus conquered the grave
("Mighty to Save" by Laura Story)

Compassion. As I type this I am still in awe of the timing of the words and how it shifted my perspective on the day. While all was not perfect and easy, the Lord used these words to guide me to pray for compassion and patience. 

I remembered the phrase "everyone needs compassion" as I met with students, listened to them, and tried to offer encouragement. During the day, a difficult (and occasionally violent) student challenged me. I held boundaries with the student--firmly but calm. At some point, the student approached me and said, "Mrs. Thornton, why don't you get angry with us?" What an amazing teaching moment! After I explained my belief that anger and violence does not solve problems, the student asked me if I ever get angry. I answered an honest "yes" (just ask my children!), but was so thankful that God set my heart and mind on compassion today!

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