An Important Lesson On Compassion

One of my favorite things is my morning coffee.  I go to sleep thinking that in eight hours (or less), I’ll be sipping my hot brew, resting under the canopy of the morning breeze.  It’s during these morning devotions that my heart, mind, and body are renewed for the day ahead of me.  It’s become my secret power.

I’ve grown so in love with this alone time that I protect it with great effort, but with young children, I also have to be flexible with what those mornings look like.  I’ll do my best to sneak around before my children wake up, but without fail, someone senses I’m awake and comes to join me.  I want my kids to know how important this time is for me, and that they’ll have to wait for my undivided attention.  So, I tell them just that, “You can join me, but I’m not going to talk, because this is my quiet time”.


Quiet Morning



This particular morning was like all the others.  I no sooner got myself settled, took a sip of my coffee, when I heard the door squeak open behind me.  I smiled, we exchanged kisses, and then, without a word, Charis climbed into the chair next to me.  We sat there for a few minutes, and then I decided to share what I was reading.  I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to open the door of my heart and show Charis why I crave this time every morning.

I read outloud,

For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his love for those who fear him:
as far as the east is from the west,
so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
As a father has compassion on his children,
so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him;
for he knows how we are formed,
he remembers that we are dust. {Psam 103:11-14}


For the next several minutes, I did my best to tell my eight-year-old that

God knows our weaknesses more than we do.

He remembers that we’re human and His love for us is as vast as the universe.  He has compassion for us, for our failures and for our addictions.  He knows we long to be filled, to be satisfied, but sometimes we fill those longings with the wrong things.


Compassion for us


Then, I added, “Just like daddy loves you, takes care of you, and has compassion for you, that’s how God is”.  I don’t know why I had a hard time saying the last part.  Maybe it’s because I know so many stories where the daddy wasn’t compassionate or full of love.  Or maybe, deep down I didn’t trust that Matt was getting this parenting thing right.  Maybe I remembered our nightmare, and expect all daddies to fail, but I’m learning to trust, even when it’s hard, so I bravely spoke the words of a daddy’s true love for his children.

Charis smiled at me. “Can I have a drink of your coffee”?

I thought, “Well, I tried”, as I handed my mug to Charis.

Later that night, things were getting wild, like most bedtimes around our house.  Charis was ready for bed,  so she and I sat together while she read to herself.  Porter and Hunter were out of control.  I gave orders to get ready for bed.  Matt gave the same orders, but the two seemed to be suffering from acute deafness.  They ignored Matt and me and continued in their wayward behavior.

Matt walked in, and said, “Ok, Porter and Hunter, you chose to disobey, so now you two are getting spankings.  Porter, let’s go”.

A dark cloud swept over the room.  The naughty antics lost their luster.  Everyone stopped and stared at Porter as he marched out of the room without a word.  If I had a drum, I would’ve played the appropriate execution drum roll.  Hunter waited, huddled in the corner, waiting for her certain punishment.  We all waited in silence.

A couple of minutes later, Porter came bounding back into the room.  With a squeal, he said, “Daddy, just gave me grace!  He didn’t spank me!  Hunter, I think Daddy is going to give you grace, too”.  Just like that the mood changed.  A buzz started while all my children discussed this good fortune.

Inside my head, I rolled my eyes.  Wimp.  He said he gave grace, because he just doesn’t have the guts to discipline his children. Must I be the only parent who follows through?

Charis turned and looked at me, “Mommy, that Bible story you read me this morning is right”.

I smiled a sheepish smile, “Yes, Charis, it is”.

That night, I’m not sure who learned the most about Love and His compassion for us — Porter, Charis, or me.

3 thoughts on “An Important Lesson On Compassion

  1. Pingback: "My Heart is Dark, but I am Lovely" Wallpaper - The Wounded Dove

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *