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Permission to Climb

Brokenness Comes in Many Forms 

I clearly remember as a child, going into a neighbor’s attic while she and my mother talked in the living room at the neighbor’s home. It’s for sure they had given me permission to climb the stairs and entertain myself by poking around in whatever I found up there.

The attic offered me adventure, but I didn’t go any further than the top of the stairs because, at the landing, to my left, was a small replica of a dog. Its leg was broken off.

I’m a dog lover. I was a dog lover back then as well. At the time, my brothers and I had a real dog: living, healthy, and whole. But the little glass dog at the top of my neighbor’s staircase was missing an essential part of being whole. Even as a four or five-year-old, I knew the dog needed my help. 

Its brokenness stopped me in my tracks. I tried to make my brain create a solution for a dog without a leg, but there was none. I think, for me, it was the beginning of above average compassion.

A Solution to Brokenness 

Whenever I see a beggar on a street corner, I experience the same feeling of helplessness and the same urgency to find a solution for suffering that I felt as a child. 

Broken people, in contrast to un-fixable things, however, are fixable. Even missing limbs are able to be replaced. Broken hearts mend. Despairing individuals find hope.

Compassion is the eye of our heart, allowing us to see, giving us permission to reach out, and reach up, and love others as we love ourselves. 

Beyond Ourselves

Pity, sympathy, care, concern, tenderness, mercy, kindness, and charity are more than words. They are heart-acts that move us and engage us toward above-average compassion. 

We have only to look around us to see others in need. There are many forms of brokenness. Ask yourself this question: which type of brokenness does not respond to love?

One way to reach out and reach up could be through a local organization to help those in need. Locally, the Nashville Rescue Mission is a great place to start: A Home for the Hungry, Homeless, and Hurting—or a similar organization in your area.

Compassion prods us to go beyond ourselves to help others. This season of Thanksgiving is a fantastic chance to help make someone a little more thankful because of heart-eyes and heart-acts.

 “There is the great lesson of ‘Beauty and the Beast,’ that a thing must be loved before it is lovable.” ― Chesterton, G. K. (Gilbert Keith)

Nashville Homeless Power Project

Take a couple of minutes and listen to this—it’ll peak your heart-ears.

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