There has apparently grown recently in the medical field an interest in COMPASSION, a word which in the Latin means "feeling with." It is about feeling for others, sensing their spirit, and caring to be with them.
Most of us who've been hospital patients have noticed how short the doctor's visits to our bedside are. There may be an attempt at cheeriness, but it is soon clear that the doctor's time is short, which often makes his or her attitude short, even abrupt.
And someone has figured out that that does not contribute to the patient's healing. More likely, it detracts from that process. It builds walls instead of friendship, or welcome, or openness, or any "feeling with" each other.
There are reasons, of course. The doctors are often paid for a prescribed or recommended schedule of visits - 15 minutes is about it.
To"feel with" another person takes time. Time to sit down, be at ease, pay attention, listen, watch, hear what is being said, catch the inflections in another's voice, pick up signals.
We have an effect on each other in life. Our "presence" makes a difference. Some people's presence makes other people feel better. "Presence" can calm troubled hearts. It can light up whole rooms. It can bring peace, even joy.
That's why families gather at Christmas. To share their lives. To ask about the others. Jesus did it around tables, over food.
Today a friend came to see me. Just to talk. We told stories. We talked of churches, and ministry, of our families, and friends. He smiled as we talked. Back and forth it went. We had caught up. We had spoken our affections for each other.
When he had to go, I asked him to pray for us. He did. We held hands. He lifted up my life and work to God. He held me in The Father's love. I was "blessed," over and over. It was a remarkable hour and a half.
Jesus said, after all, that not only was He the "Light of the world," but that we too, following Him, were also the "light of the world."
LIghted lives are an amazing phenomenon. Their faith makes them that way. Their love of Jesus makes them like Jesus.
We ourselves have a part to play in lighting up the world, in encouraging the world, in helping the world be healed, in overcoming the dark of this darkest time of the year.
We can be healers ourselves. We can help the doctors be better healers. We can help ourselves by remembering who we are, and Who lives within us, and Who intends to use us to heal, and change, and transform our world.
Arthur A Rouner, Jr -
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ARTHUR ROUNER MINISTRIES