Recently, I had a coke with a friend. She was sharing some experiences of her past and said that in the midst of a difficult time in her life, a friend said, "I don't know what I would do in your shoes, but I support you no matter what." It brought tears to my eyes. Brought tears to my friends eyes, too, as she remembered that moment.
Sometimes my spiritual director asks, "Why the tears?" So, reflecting on yesterday, I thought to myself, "Why the tears about this friend's memory?" After all, it was just a simple comment. Yes, and it was more than that.
It was compassion. An online etymology dictionary says that compassion comes from the Latin words compati "to feel pity," and from com- "together." Compassion means to suffer together, or to suffer with. Compassion has to do with feeling the feelings of another. My friend's friend was feeling her feelings and standing with her at that time. That's compassion!
It was also friendship. True friends care for us whether they agree with us or not. True friends love us whether they would do what we are doing or not. True friends stand with us in the thick of life's problems and keep standing with us until we get through the muck and mire that life sometimes throws at us.
And, it was acceptance. The friend of my friend accepted that she didn't have knowledge about the situation. She accepted that my friend was doing the best that she could do. The friend accepted the situation and in saying "I support you," she was accepting my friend. Acceptance has a way of bringing about peace and serenity, even in tough times.
The tears were tears of blessing, seeing the way that the woman sitting over cokes with me had been blessed with compassion, friendship and acceptance.
May God shower all of us with such blessings.