Finding Joy in Compassion


As Jake and I are moving into a new year and approaching the February 15th anniversary date of finding out he had lymphoma, I cannot help but go through different emotions about that time of year and what it meant for me personally, as his wife and as a caretaker to him. 

A friend of mine recently shared this devotion with me and told me that it reminded her of my blog, but that she had never thought about Joy in this way. And neither had I. 

Solidarity in Weakness

Joy is hidden in compassion. The word compassion literally means “to suffer with.” It seems quite unlikely that suffering with another person would bring joy. Yet being with a person in pain, offering simple presence to someone in despair, sharing with a friend times of confusion and uncertainty … such experiences can bring us deep joy. Not happiness, not excitement, not great satisfaction, but the quiet joy of being there for someone else and living in deep solidarity with our brothers and sisters in this human family. Often this is a solidarity in weakness, in brokenness, in woundedness, but it leads us to the center of joy, which is sharing our humanity with others.

Source: Henri Nouwen Society 

Words taken right out of my heart to express what I felt during the most roughest, soul-aching moments of Jake’s sickness and my time spent with him. 

I could not have expressed this any better. Thank you for sharing Beth.