#1000Speak: Moving from Acceptance to Compassion

When Jesus went ashore, He saw a large crowd, and He felt compassion for them because they were like sheep without a shepherd; and He began to teach them many things. ~ Mark 6:34
That’s the last line from yesterday’s Gospel, providing inspiration for me as I respond to this month’s 1000 Speak for Compassion link up.

This month’s topic is Acceptance, which Jesus demonstrates perfectly in the reading above.  See, the disciples had just come back from preaching and teaching and healing.  They were excited to tell Jesus about their adventures, and I’m sure he was excited to hear about them.  But all the people wouldn’t leave them alone.
Jesus knew his disciples needed to rest; they hadn’t even had time to eat anything.  He suggested they withdraw to a “desolate place” so they could be alone and rest.  But the anxious crowds figured out the plan, and pursued them on land as they traveled by boat.  So that when they came ashore, thousands of people (the same 5,000 people who are going to be fed miraculously later) were already there waiting for them.
Now, I don’t know about you, but compassion would NOT have been MY first reaction to this ambush! I would have been irritated, and maybe I would have gotten back in my boat and tried for another, more desolate location.  But this is where ACCEPTANCE comes in.
Jesus accepts his role as shepherd to these frightened sheep.  He gives up his plan of rest and relaxation to care for them.  Can we do the same?  When you are at work, and it’s almost time to leave, and another customer comes in with an annoying concern, can you ACCEPT that this is where you are supposed to be and have compassion for the needs of that person?  When your Facebook friend posts something you disagree with, can you ACCEPT that you have different opinions and have compassion for him? When you are trying desperately to get a moment alone, and your kids are following you around everywhere, can you ACCEPT that your role for this season is to take care of them and have compassion for them?  When your spouse seems demanding and you feel like you are already giving 120%, can you ACCEPT that part of marriage is offering compassion even when you aren’t really feeling it?
ACCEPTANCE is the first step to compassion in these situations.  We cannot “feel WITH” someone without first accepting our role and our call to be of service to that person.  Without acceptance, there is a wall of resentment that prevents true compassion.
#1000 SpeakWant to learn more about 1000Speak?  Start here.  And be sure to check out the other entries in this month’s linkup.

0 thoughts on “#1000Speak: Moving from Acceptance to Compassion

  1. Thank you for sharing this. I was at Mass yesterday, but failed to see how this message of compassion and acceptance applied to me. So true, that resentment can build when you don’t recognize your role and offer compassion to those who need you. May God bless you!

  2. We definitely don’t feel very compassionate when we’re tired ourselves! But, it’s great to remember that others do rely on us and any resentment that we feel would be a disservice to them!

  3. Acceptance – that I can’t change the other person. Acceptance of their mental illness. Acceptance that I will likely never have the mother I should have. A lot of acceptance here. It can get exhausting, though. But not accepting these facts won’t be helpful for my own healing.

  4. A willingness to help others and accepting the responsibility to have compassion for those in need around them is something that is scarce in the world these days. Everyone is self-focused and can’t be bothered with other people’s problems.

  5. Leslie,
    Did you get my e-mail yesterday? I’m afraid for some reason you didn’t.
    Thank you so much for linking up with #TheocentricThursdays! I am so excited you have decided to join our growing community.
    You’ve probably already done this, but I’m dropping in to #TheocentricThursdays participants this week and leaving links to who they are supposed to comment on this week to make sure everyone understands how it works. It works best for the host’s record-keeping if everyone clicks the links on the actual blog hop, but when it comes right down to it, we’re more concerned with everyone receiving at least two comments per week! Entrants are only eligible for featured post status if they follow the rules of reading commenting on the two posts they are assigned.
    Your posts this week are:
    #6 http://www.inlinkz.com/displayurl.php?id=24148357
    #5 http://www.inlinkz.com/displayurl.php?id=24148157
    Please let me know if you have any questions!
    Carrie Ann Tripp

  6. Thank you. I think this is one of the hardest things we face as people – trying to be compassionate. Last year I faced a verbal abuser who is in my husband’s circle of friends. I was silent in the face of his attack as was my husband. It caused some issues for us until I understood my husband is not responsible for his friend.. After a while I told my man that this is not acceptable behavior and he confronted his friend. The friend came and apologized to me. I accepted his apology but he told me that is how he is and he is not going to change. His wife tried to make me feel responsible for the attack and also lectured me on forgiveness. I spent a lot of time thinking about that and then decided that he is who he is, I cannot change that. The same is true for his wife. She lives with an abuser and has learned to justify his verbal brutality and explain it to others by redistributing the blame. I can have compassion for an abuser because 99.999% of the time abusers were once the abused. But I also stand firm on the ground that I will not volunteer to be in company of one who openly declares themselves unsafe. Hubby and I have worked things out. He understands. Do I wish he would have nothing more to do with this man? Yes, I do. And their contact has been limited, but I have not insisted upon that. I have tried to be an example of accepting who that person is and then honoring who I am. It has worked. Thanks for sharing. I am coming to you from #Theocentricthursdays. Blessings.
    If you would like, you can check out my blog about this incident on

    1. Thank you for sharing that with me. I think there is a message in there I can use. And you are right–there is acceptance and compassion, but having compassion for YOURSELF means you don’t put yourself around hurtful people! I look forward to reading the post.

  7. Thank you my friend. What I learned most from that situation is that I must not just count on others understanding me. I need to intentionally avoid hurting others if possible and in the situation God showed me that I too can be verbally unkind and need to always keep the well being of others before me. Loved this.
    blessings to you.

  8. Thank you Leslie, this is a great piece of writing. My daughter was diagnosed with autism at age 3 and I have learned so greatly about compassion. Not only to have compassion for those struggling, but also how much people have compassion. I thought it was going to go the other way, but I feel people are highly compassionate. And if they aren’t, time to move on. Thanks for your writing!

  9. This post speaks volumes to me right now with everything I am going through. Compassion is what keeps me where I am, without compassion I wouldn’t be able to accept all the trials and tribulations happening in my life. And without God and my faith I wouldn’t be strong to have acceptance and compassion!!

  10. Allison (funfamily.vacations)

    Thanks for sharing. This is a lovely post that we all need to read to remind us of acceptance and compassion.

  11. Being able to practice acceptance is a key aspect to living a happy, not-so stressed life. I find that when I lament about where I want to be in life instead of just accepting, with compassion, that I am where I need to be, I am one miserable individual. There’s a certain peace that comes with acceptance and it really does open us up to be more compassionate with those around us. Great post Leslie!

  12. Thanks for bringing this truth to Fridays Blog Booster Party. Interesting words compassion and resentment I have never really associated them before. Without compassion the door is wide open for resentment. I need to watch out for that myself. I like your scriptural example it paints the perfect picture of what you are saying.

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