Once upon a time, there was a girl who was afraid to reach out to others. Out of that fear, she wrote a farewell letter in her heart:
I’m afraid it’s time for me to move on. You see, I have too much to do to waste any time with you. I can’t slow down to listen to you if I want to get any work done. Besides, listening to you only brings me more misery. I have enough pain of my own, and you want me to add even more to my burdens by taking on others’ hurt? It’s much more productive to focus on my own worries and troubles.
How do I know these people even want my help? I’d probably only make things worse. What if I say the wrong thing? Reach out to them only to have them reject me in return? Or worse, draw them away from God?
No, no. I think everyone would be far better off if I just said goodbye to you, Compassion. You take me out of my comfort zone, and you make me feel things that I can do nothing about. Not everyone can make a difference. I certainly can’t. The only thing you bring me is more pain-pain that I can’t fix. It’s time for me to protect my heart.
Farewell, Compassion. I hope you understand-it’s easier on everyone this way.
But God wasn’t ready to give up on the girl. One day, He spoke to her through a song:
After listening to the song, the tears flowed down her face. With shame, she realized just how hard her heart had become, and she wrote a prayer pleading with God to bring compassion back into her life:
Help me see tragedy, and
Break me out of complacency,
So I can help the poor and needy.
Take away the umbrella,
So I can feel the rain,
And take away the soul’s ibuprofen,
So I can feel the pain.
Give me arms to hug and heal,
Give me knees that bend and kneel.
Give me a heart sensitive to your Word,
Help me set the captives free as a bird.
Give me calloused hands and skinned knees,
Oh, Father, please!
Give me tears that cry for change,
Put room in my heart, rearrange,
Break me, pour me out;
Oh, love’s what life’s about.
Put me in the ICU with the mom holding her son’s hand,
And place me in the impoverished land.
Let me feel the burning hunger of another,
And taste the stinging tears of my fellow brother.
Put me in the trench where the fear and blood is thick,
And in the child whose body is so sick.
Give me a heart tender and compassionate,
Oh, Lord, I want to be sent.
Jesus placed his feet on sinner’s land,
Accepted our hurt with an open hand.
Got his hands dirty and made a stand,
Touched and healed the leper’s hand.
Took on our sickness and pain,
Washed us anew in Heaven’s rain.
Walked into our darkness and gave us the light,
Took on our blindness and gave us sight.
Took our wounds and healed our souls,
Became broken so we became whole.
Became a prisoner so we could be free,
Walked through the fire with me.
Left heaven’s throne,
So I would never be alone.
‘Twas love that led him up to Calvary,
And ’tis love that says, “Take up your cross and follow me.”
My eyes, once blind, now see-
With perfect love comes bravery.
God honored that girl’s prayer, and for the first time in a long while she noticed the starving children on her television, and felt the tears stream down her cheeks. She noticed the sadness hiding behind her friend’s eyes, and remembered there were many who lived in darkness, just longing for the light. Light she could share with them.
The girl began to pray more, speak out more, and even cry more. But instead of adding to her burdens, it made her feel alive and free-as if a part of her had been re-awakened. And things around her began to change.
She has more purpose in her step now, more joy within her heart. For she realized that when you are loving is when you’re truly living. And she realized what the devil had been lying to her about for years, and it was this: that she could make a difference.
Now she lives in the truth, and the truth has set her free.
Once upon a time there was a girl, and that girl was me.