Here’s another thoughtful guest post from …
Once there was a well. Four stones were gathered around the mouth of the well to mark its location. These stones were courage, honor, loyalty, and knowledge. And hanging down into the well was the bucket of faith.
One day, the land was infected with a raging thirst that led human beings to shed the blood of their neighbors. The thirst in the land became so great that the stones of courage, honor, loyalty, and knowledge were removed and used as weapons. Even the bucket of faith was taken from its place to be another part of the arsenal to injure and destroy.
With the stone markers and bucket removed, the people could no longer find the well or reach the one thing within it that could quench this raging thirst that had led them to hurt one another: the waters of compassion.
Courage without compassion is a killing force. Honor without compassion creates rigidity. Loyalty without compassion is blind allegiance. Knowledge without compassion turns stones and buckets into weapons. Faith without compassion is cruel.
Friends, as we search for how to respond to the pain around us and within us, I hope you will first spend time cultivating your compassion. Because it is only a deep well of compassion at the center of human beings that protects us from using our courage, honor, loyalty, knowledge, and even faith to hurt our neighbor.