SACRED SIX: COMPASSION MESSAGE
II Corinthians 1: 3-4 NIV reads
3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.
As an only child I don’t have a lot of family, my dad was orphaned at the age of 12 and I lost both my grandparents while in high school. Outside of my parents, I have 2 Aunt’s and an Uncle and 5 five first cousins, but the family that I do have I am extremely close too.One of my cousins is named Kim, she served our country faithfully as an RN in the Air Force for 20 plus years with several years as a cardiac nurse. I went out for her retirement ceremony in San Antonio and really felt compelled to ask her to be by my side during my surgery but didn’t want to ask her while we were celebrating her retirement. But on my last day of my visit I asked her, “Would you please consider being by my side during surgery to comfort my family and let them know everything was going to be ok…” it took her all of three seconds to say yes.
The day of my open heart surgery things went according to plan, until I got into recovery where my family was sitting and kept seeing all these units of blood go back. My mom was worried and was praying so hard, my wife was worried, the Case Manager did her best to try to alleviate the fears of my family, but my cousin Kim knew something was wrong and confronted her, where she informed her, “Yes, the surgeon was concerned, we have given him 6 units of blood and he’s considering taking him back to surgery.”
The good news was the bleeding stopped and they didn’t need to take me back for more surgery but the other good news was also that I had a compassionate advocate that was there for me when my family needed her. The scriptures refer to this in the passage above…that we serve a God that is the “Father of Compassion and All Comfort” and like my cousin Kim, comforts us so much, “so that we can comfort others in others with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.”
Fifteen years ago Kim lost a baby to SIDS, as you can imagine our family rallied around her, but during that time she received the same comfort then that I would later receive from God during my open heart surgery and she was empowered to pass that love and compassion on to me during my time of need.
Kim literally slept by my bed for two nights, sacrificing time with her boys where she was supposed to be a chaperone for a camp they were attending out of compassion for me. That was both humbling and overwhelming.
It was such a comfort to me and my family for her to be with me!
Every day, we get serve “those that are in trouble” I wonder are we acting as the Servant Leaders that the “Father of Compassion and Comfort” would have us be? Do we answer call lights? Take the time to listen to our patient’s concerns with compassion? Listen to our staff members concerns? If not, we are missing out on our blessing of “paying it forward” from the mercy and compassion we receive from our Heavenly Father.
The narrative portion of our Sacred Six of Compassion actually even takes it a little bit farther when it says “I will seek out those in need and help to relieve their suffering” I wonder how much we could change the culture if we actively searched for someone every day in our buildings to relieve their suffering? I think it would be “revolutionary” and honor “The Father of Compassion.”
Prayer: Father today may I be a person of compassion. Help me to put myself in someone else’s shoes and try to understand what the next person may be going through in life. Help me to be a blessing to both them and myself by offering compassion.
Gary S. Cooke
Administrator SHC Jacksonville