The Eyes of Compassion

This is a post I wrote from our adoption blog. It really straddles both blogs that I write so I put it on both, but for those of you that read both–this one ends a little differently.

I’ve been reading a book called, “The Mission of Motherhood” by Sally Clarkson lately. I’m pretty sure I’ve underlined more than I haven’t, but there is one part that really stood out to me. So much so that I’ve been meditating on it for the last few weeks.

In reference to the passage in Matthew 9:35-36 it says this:

“Jesus was going about all the cities and villages, teaching in the synagogues, and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness. AND SEEING THE MULTITUDES, HE FELT COMPASSION FOR THEM, because they were distressed and downcast like sheep without a shepherd.” (emphasis mine)

Sally Clarkson reflects this: “Instead of seeing the multitude and seeing them with disdain and scorn–or as an overwhelming drain on his time–Jesus felt compassion for them.”

Boy can I ever relate to seeing my clan as a “multitude” and boy, can they ever make me feel drained. But this stood out to remind me as to how I should respond to my children–with compassion. I am grateful for this mindset that God had me in this week. He was setting the stage for me to “just happen” to be in the right place at the right time.

As I walked down the hallway, I unfortunately heard this argument between Littlest One and Daughter of Purpose:

Littlest One – “Why don’t you just go back to Russia?” (in a very disdainful, angry voice)

Daughter of Purpose – “Fine! I go back to Russia. I go there and be with Nastia (her little friend).”

It was only a few sentences, but yet so incredibly powerful. Again, I am grateful I happened upon their argument so that I could do some damage control. I am so grateful God had me working on my compassion because that’s all I could feel for these two precious ones in this moment. I really did think of them as precious at that moment. It was weird, I knew right away that these were two hurting children that needed compassion in that moment–not scolding.

There was nothing more important to me in that moment than to hold both of them and have compassion on them. Littlest One needed some help because some moments he’s best buddies with Daughter of Purpose and some moments the two of them fight like cats and dogs. It’s gotta be pretty hard to be him…the one who was the baby for 6 years and still feels like Mama’s boy, but yet has had to grow up and be a big brother really fast. He’s never had to share in such a way. He’s never had to instruct someone–he’s always been the one instructed! In the midst of my embrace, we had a big talk about what he said and how powerful and hurtful those words were and how he could make it right.

Once I let go of Littlest One, I could fully embrace Daughter of Purpose and pour out compassion on her like I never had before. I’m not sure what changed in that moment, but the depth of my love for her went so deep. Before this moment, I knew that I loved her, but there was a depth to this moment that I had yet to experience. I saw her in a new light. I saw what it must be like to live in her shoes and felt nothing but compassion. Imagine what it’s like to be ripped from all that you know to this completely different world. Although the people here are nice and loving, proven they will keep their promises, there are plenty of playmates and good food to go around–what must it be like to walk the perilous line of not knowing if this will last or not? What must it be like to have two worlds and two languages in her head? When she wakes up out of a dead sleep–where does she initial think she is? In America or Russia? Does she dream in Russian or English?

The list of questions could go on, but there was something in this moment that said, “This is your child, not a stranger you are raising. This is your moment to make sure she knows that her being here is not dependent on her behavior. She needs to know that she will always be yours–no matter what.” I held Daughter of Purpose close and made sure she knew from my words and my actions exactly that–she is my child and always will be. I made sure she understood that she will never need to worry about returning to Russia–no matter what anyone says even if it is her brother.

From that day on, God has given me new eyes for my Daughter of Purpose. She is no longer just one of the multitude that I have been given to raise. She is a chosen child that needs a Mommy that sees her as one of her own and embraces her for exactly who she is. It can be easy with many children to get so busy that I barely have time to look my children in the eyes each day. It’s such a simple thing, but isn’t that what we want from the Lord? To be seen as an individual by Him and not just one of the crowd? I know I won’t be perfect at this goal, but as God weaves this thread of compassion in my life, I purpose to look at each one of my children in the eyes each day and see them as He does…with compassion.

So I ask you, my fellow Mommy friends, when you look at the “multitude” that God has given you, whether it be small or large in number–adopted or biological–do you see them with eyes of compassion or as an overwhelming drain on your time? Trust me, I know how easy it can be to get caught up in the tasks of each day, feel overwhelmed with it all and forget that children are a blessing. I want to encourage you as you juggle all of your plates to join with me as I purpose to look at my children anew–with fresh new eyes. I want to feel compassion towards my children and not irritation. I want to see them through the eyes of their Maker. I can only imagine what great things will happen when I begin to see my children with the eyes of Jesus.

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2 Replies to “The Eyes of Compassion”

  1. heather

    I have been falling behind on my reading so this is a great little (actually, big) tidbit to chew on as I parent my children this week. Thanks for the encouragement and for always being “real”. I appreciate it….and you!


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