"View with Compassion"
(By Zelig Pliskin)
(From: Kindness: Making a Difference in People's Lives: Formulas, stories, and insights)

8-23-2006 Church Within SOW Seeds Service - Story #405

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Greetings my Dearest Sisters and Brothers, and welcome again to Church Within's Story of the Week ["SOW Seeds”].

Thank you for all of your responses to last week's Story!

I think we've got Another Great Story this week!

It reminded me So much of a story in the Urantia Book about Jesus' treatment of a fellow who was mistreating his wife… well… I decided to use That one as the “Pastor's Quote of the Week” right after it.

This week's SOW Seeds Story, contributed by: Patije

Story of the Week
"View with Compassion"
(By Zelig Pliskin)
(From: Kindness: Making a Difference in People's Lives: Formulas, stories, and insights)

When you watch other people, what you see will depend on what is important to you or what interests you at the time. A barber will notice styles and quality of haircuts. A tailor will notice clothing. A salesman will notice if this person seems like a potential customer. A pickpocket will notice the likelihood of perpetrating and getting away with his crime. A critical person will notice what is wrong with this person. And a compassionate person will notice opportunities to be compassionate. Be compassionate. This elevates you greatly.

Whenever you see someone who is in distress or who is crying, it is a time to be compassionate. Whenever you see someone who is lost, it is a time to be compassionate. Whenever you see someone who needs a loan, it is a time to be compassionate. Whenever you see someone who is angry, it is a time to be compassionate. Whenever you see someone with faulty character traits, it is a time to be compassionate. Every fault or lack or limitation or mistake or need of another person is a wake-up call for you to be compassionate.

When you view someone with compassion, you don't condemn or insult. When you view someone with compassion, you don't ignore his or her needs. When you view someone with compassion, you don't condescend. When you view someone with compassion, you say kind words and do what you can to help. When you view someone with compassion, you yourself become more of a compassionate person.

Isn't there a danger with too much compassion? Yes, the Talmud states that a person who has an excessive amount of compassion will live a life that's not really living. There is so much suffering that if you view everyone's suffering as your own, it will be impossible to bear such a heavy burden. But when your compassion is balanced and with an appropriate measure for your unique personality, your compassion will enhance your life and the lives of many others.

A student related the following incident to me:

I witnessed a father berating his young son in a brutal manner. The son was cringing and you could see the terror on his face. I was walking with an older friend and I whispered to him, "I can't just walk by. I have to do something."

"What do you plan to do?" my friend asked me.

"I'm going to tell off that father. The way he speaks makes me furious. No child should be treated like that."

"It's great that you have compassion for that child. And we need to have compassion for the father also. It's obvious that if he treats his son like this, he was treated this way by others. If you just scream at the father, he most likely will take out his frustration and embarrassment on his son later on."

I watched my friend approach the father. With sincere care and concern he said to him, "It's obvious that you care about your child. And it's obvious that your child has done things to get you angry. I also have children and I also lose my temper. Can we please talk? I have some ideas that have helped me. You know your child better than I do. But perhaps my experiences can be helpful for you also."

The tone of voice of my friend was respectful and compassionate. I was amazed to see the father, who I viewed as a terrible, evil person, calm down right before my eyes.

"I thank you for your offer," the father said. "I feel at a total loss. I hate losing my temper. But I do it over and over again. I would be extremely grateful if you can give me some tips on being a more effective parent."

The power of compassion that I witnessed was unbelievable. The very next time I observed that father interact with his son, I saw a remarkable improvement.

Pastor's Quote of the Week
(From: The Urantia Papers - Paper-133 Section-2)
        While tarrying at the ship landing, waiting for the boat to unload cargo, the travelers observed a man mistreating his wife. As was his custom, Jesus intervened in behalf of the person subjected to attack. He stepped up behind the irate husband and, tapping him gently on the shoulder, said: "My friend, may I speak with you in private for a moment?" The angry man was nonplused by such an approach and, after a moment of embarrassing hesitation, stammered out--"er--why--yes, what do you want with me?" When Jesus had led him to one side, he said: "My friend, I perceive that something terrible must have happened to you; I very much desire that you tell me what could happen to such a strong man to lead him to attack his wife, the mother of his children, and that right out here before all eyes. I am sure you must feel that you have some good reason for this assault. What did the woman do to deserve such treatment from her husband? As I look upon you, I think I discern in your face the love of justice if not the desire to show mercy. I venture to say that, if you found me out by the wayside, attacked by robbers, you would unhesitatingly rush to my rescue. I dare say you have done many such brave things in the course of your life. Now, my friend, tell me what is the matter? Did the woman do something wrong, or did you foolishly lose your head and thoughtlessly assault her?" It was not so much what he said that touched this man's heart as the kindly look and the sympathetic smile which Jesus bestowed upon him at the conclusion of his remarks. Said the man: "I perceive you are a priest of the Cynics, and I am thankful you restrained me. My wife has done no great wrong; she is a good woman, but she irritates me by the manner in which she picks on me in public, and I lose my temper. I am sorry for my lack of self-control, and I promise to try to live up to my former pledge to one of your brothers who taught me the better way many years ago. I promise you."

The Prayer
Dear God,        
        Help me to allow my Soul to Act, before my ego has time to Re-Act. I'm so much happier when I am consciously in Action, than when I am simply unconsciously reacting without thought or wisdom.

You ALL are Within the Infinitely Loving Embrace of our Universal Parent,

The Creator's Eternal Love to all of You,
Pastor Daniel

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