While in church last week the sermon was specifically on the phrases: I see you, I hear you, and I know.
This got my attention because we often use these terms in casual and intentional conversations. We tell people we “hear them” when they are saying something important. We say I “see you” when we want them to know we see how they are moving, operating in the world. We see what they contribute and who they are. We say “I know,” … all the time even if we really have no earthly idea.
But in Biblical terms, it was a point of note, that “I see you” means to move closer with compassion.
That really got my attention. It’s not exactly what I have been thinking about when I say that to someone or when I hear the phrase used. But it has a softness to it that I appreciate.
What if every time we really “see” someone we also move closer to them with compassion? Even when what we see isn’t as pleasant as we might like or hope, what if we moved closer with compassion? What if we saw what was under that poor behavior/characteristic? Could we have compassion for that?
It’s like the similarly oft-used phrase “Hurt people, hurt people.”
It may be a bit redundant and trite but it’s a truism for a reason. If we saw past our own hurt and looked at what’s under someone else’s penchant for lashing out, could we move forward, toward them with compassion? This does not mean we excuse, release responsibility for, or condone bad behavior but we move toward them with compassion. While still practicing good self-care, we are side stepping self-sacrifice, while still moving toward them, even if only energetically, with compassion.
How would that change likely every interaction we have with another? If our kids are throwing a tantrum, instead of matching them scream for scream, we move toward them with compassion and find out what’s underneath the fit.
If our spouse is overreacting to a work stress or silly incident at home, how do we move toward them with compassion? Instead of moving away with judgment and irritation of our own.
These are tough questions and even tougher acts of kindness in the face of adversity but what if we moved toward the challenge with compassion? What if we moved closer with compassion?
Sunshine & Sarcasm,
Lowi & G
Lowi & G