Comparisons and Compassion
Here are a few things that I’ve learned through almost seven years after the loss of Ellie, and six years of ministry through Ellie’s Way and GriefShare.
“Comparison is the death of joy.” – Mark Twain
When grieving the loss of a loved one, it’s so easy to feel like no one understands. No one knows how we feel or can comprehend the depths of our pain and suffering. It can be a lonely place. Here’s my truth – no one will ever really understand! Some people can acknowledge and listen when they have the time and compassion. It’s nice to have our pain recognized, but that is not why we are here. I believe that Jesus lived how we are supposed to live, and his guidance is worth following.
Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ – Matthew 22:37-39 (NIV)
God has planned a path for you. You will travel the path on your own, with God to help if you choose. Don’t compare your path with someone else. Other people’s paths may cross or run nearby, but only you can take steps on your path. Only you can choose to see the beauty around your current location and enjoy your journey. There may be amazing drops to deep valleys, but keep looking forward and take it one step at a time.
Can we default to compassion? If something makes us feel uncomfortable, let’s look past it and open our hearts. Do you want to be inspirational? Our kindness in the midst of pain is a testimony to God’s incredible love for us. Pain is pain. Losing a baby, grandparent, pet, job, relationship, or whatever causes stress, pain, and grief. Our losses do not change our ability to have compassion. But, it does increase the impact of our encouragement. Instead of comparing our pain and suffering, let’s try to lift everyone up with our compassionate hearts.
Here’s one of my favorite verses:
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. – Philippians 4:8 (NIV)