Compassion Comes By Way of Gentleness

I subscribe to Sojourner’s Daily Verse and Voice and almost always find it inspiring. Today’s “voice” reminded me that all the compassionate intentions, energy and activism for the right causes doesn’t mean squat unless it comes from a person who has first gone through the process of transformation within themselves. I am struck by those who take doing what is right as license to be rude to others and I find Biersdorf’s quote below a good response in those times:

Compassion is expressed in gentleness. When I think of the persons I know who model for me the depths of the spiritual life, I am struck by their gentleness … They are gentle because they have honestly faced the struggles given to them and have learned the hard way that personal survival is not the point. Their caring is gentle because their self-aggrandizement is no longer at stake. There is nothing in it for them. Their vulnerability has been stretched to clear-eyed sensitivity to others and truly selfless love.

John E. Biersdorf from Healing of Purpose

Published by Wess Daniels

Teacher, author, Quaker, ​and public theologian. Director of Friends Center and Quaker Studies at Guilford College.

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