Monday, April 16, 2007

Seeing Through Eyes of Compassion

As a chaplain for the Kern County Sheriff Department, my husband frequents sadness and tragedy. Easter Sunday he received a call for a possible drowning and I have included the news release below. However, the real reason I am posting this, is to write about the surrounding people of this tragic happening. When we arrived at the lake, there were hundreds of Hispanic people celebrating Easter and having barbecues. The men were grilling meats, the mothers organizing plates, cups, and serving portions, while the children happily played. Most of these people were very poor and the opportunity to have a festive day at the lake was a "big deal." Yet, when tragedy struck and the police had rolled out yellow tape, all barbecues ceased. Police, Sheriff, Search and Rescue Teams, and other official personnel worked to find the body and help console the distraught mother for nearly two hours. During this time, all the other people at the lake stood quietly looking towards the grieving family. It was obvious they were hurting for a mother they didn't know. After the boy's body was found, the mother held him in the "blue bag" and wailed loudly. Finally, the two assisting chaplains got the family to the car and home. An uncut bakery cake remained on the park table.
I try not to post such sad happenings, but the hundreds of people who stood quiet with respect for a grieving family they really didn't know was such an overwhelming sight that I had to write about it. Wouldn't it be amazing if everyone could see through eyes of compassion? Each day we live, there are people around us who have been hurt and wounded. It may not be as obvious to us as the horrific scene at the lake, but if we would always treat people with compassion and respect, maybe their pain could be dampened. If the clerk in the store seems rude, the waitress forgetful, or the postman impatient, give them a kind smile and a gentle response. Seeing them through eyes of compassion and responding with love just may help healing begin in their wounded soul.
Teen Drowns
The Bakersfield Californian Sunday, Apr 8 2007 10:40 PM
A drowning outside of Delano was being investigated by the Sheriff's Department Sunday.
A teen drowned at the north end of Lake Woollomes, according to a Kern County coroner's office news release.
The 15-year-old boy, identified as Jose Angel Cuella Martinez of McFarland, disappeared below the surface of the water at about 12:15 p.m., the news release said.
Bystanders and family members searched for the boy but couldn't find him, the news release said.
Search and Rescue divers arrived at 1:50 p.m. and in about 10 minutes discovered the body 15 to 20 feet from the shore. Medical staff at the scene were unable to revive him, the news release said.


  1. What a timely post!! Today we need to extend compassion towards the people of Virginia for their great and tragic loss.

    Thank God for people like your husband who try to help those in need! God grant peace to the family of that young teen!!!!

  2. Jana - yes, we must remember all those connected to the tragedy in Virginia. Such a sad scene.

  3. My heart felt heavy as I read about this boy who drowned, and I thought of how devastated I would be if it were my 15 year old daughter who drowned. I pray that God would be a comfort to this family, and thank you for the reminder to see through the eyes of compassion.

  4. What a lovely story. We need not know someone personally to share in his/ger grief.

  5. Carol - I can tell you are a very sensitive person and I know the Lord uses you to show compassion. Your kindness is even felt through my blog. It is good to remind ourselves, "there go I but for the grace of God."

  6. Hi, Helen - you are right. We don't need to know people to show love and compassion. Even at prayer request time at church - we don't need to know the details, we just need to pray with sincerity that God helps our brother/sister.

  7. My thoughts and prayers are with this family, as well as the victims in Virginia. My heart also goes out to the family of the gun man. This just shows me how much the devil has a hold on our youth and it just makes me want to reach out to them even more.

  8. Beka - thanks for dropping by. You are right about reaching out more. We never know what someone is going through and how effective our kind words are to them.