4 June 2013
“Compassion asks us to go where it hurts, to enter into the places of pain, to share in brokenness, fear, confusion, and anguish. Compassion challenges us to cry out with those in misery, to mourn with those who are lonely, to weep with those in tears. Compassion requires us to be weak with the weak, vulnerable with the vulnerable, and powerless with the powerless. Compassion means full immersion in the condition of being human.”
― Henri J.M. Nouwen
I’m off to St Paul’s Cathedral this evening to talk about the work of Urban Hope. As part of the launch service for ‘Capital Vision 2020’ (a strategy for churches in the Diocese of London) I will be interviewed on the theme of ‘compassion for our communities’. I’ve often found it relatively easy to engage with themes such as compassion when in awe inspiring environments such as St Paul’s Cathedral however when in the grit of daily youth work I need to engage with a less lofty concept and a more practical sense of what compassion is all about. Which leads me to the quote above.
It’s this quote by Nouwen that in many ways sums up the threads of compassion we seek to weave into the fabric of Urban Hope. A beautiful description such as this is often enough to serve as grounded and enfleshed inspiration and hope when confronted with some of the crap we encounter in our community.