If you were to ask me to describe myself in one word, compassionate would be my immediate response.
Now, it’s not that I am not intelligent, hilarious, gracious, or a million other adjectives. But somehow compassion gets to the heart of who I am; somehow compassion defines the things I value most about myself.
I wanted to understand where this word came from, “What does compassion really mean?” was my question. In my research I learned that it is a derivative of the Latin words com (with, together) and pati (to suffer).
Bringing me to this concise definition; Compassion, to suffer with.
When you put it like that, it doesn’t sound pretty.
“Hello, my name is Jaunyce and if I were to describe myself in a short sentence, it would be, ‘I am one to suffer with others’”, says no one ever!
But when I sit back and think about it, that sentence does describe me. It describes me very well actually.When I say that I am compassionate I don’t mean that I am super nice; I mean that I have a sincere heart for others.
My compassion fuels my indignation against injustice.
My compassion awakens my desire to celebrate the success of others.
My compassion leads me to comfort the overlooked.
My compassion moves me to tears when I hear of someone’s pain.
My compassion saves a seat for the lonely at my table.
My compassion remembers little details about a person that may easily be overlooked.
My compassion leads me to see life through the lens of other’s experiences.
Based on society's interpretation of this word, compassion probably doesn’t fall in the category of fierce. I beg to differ, for it was a fierce compassion that led Jesus to the cross.
His compassion is what motivated His saying yes to His father’s plan.
His compassion is what humbled Him to go through each season of life as if He had no hand in creating them.
His compassion told His disciples to let the little children come to Him.
His compassion promised the thief hanging beside Him on the cross a place in heaven.
His compassion is what playfully called out to the disciples from the shore after His crucifixion.
His compassion is what keeps Him at the right hand of His father interceding for us day and night.
I embrace my compassion as one of the fiercest things about me, because compassion is a defining characteristic of Jesus, Christ. In the same way that I have my earthly father's facial structure, and my mother's mannerisms, I have my heavenly father’s compassion.
This entire campaign is focused on identifying the things about us that reflect the heart of who we were created to be and not apologizing for them.
The truth is we will continue to apologize if we see ourselves through the fragmented lens of this world. But we will do away with these apologies when we see ourselves through the lens of the unconditional love which we were created by and for.
In order to live unapologetically, we must first stop apologizing to Jesus about the things we believe marr the beauty He created in us. Then we must stop apologizing to ourselves for not meeting the unrealistic standards which we have placed on ourselves. When we do away with those apologies we will no longer feel the need to apologize for who we are in our glorious imperfection.
Hi, my name is Jaunyce, and my fierce is one to suffer with others. My fierce is compassionate.