Joy is hidden in compassion. The word compassion literally means “to suffer with.” It seems quite unlikely that suffering with another person would bring joy. Yet being with a person in pain, offering simple presence to someone in despair, sharing with a friend times of confusion and uncertainty … such experiences can bring us deep joy. Not happiness, not excitement, not great satisfaction, but the quiet joy of being there for someone else and living in deep solidarity with our brothers and sisters in this human family. Often this is a solidarity in weakness, in brokenness, in woundedness, but it leads us to the center of joy, which is sharing our humanity with others.
"For when we came into Macedonia, this body of ours had no rest, but we were harassed at every turn -- conflicts on the outside, fears within. But God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus... he told us about your longing for me, your deep sorrow, your ardent concern for me, so that my joy was greater than ever." - 2 Corinthians 7: 5-7
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