"remembering compassion"...


Currently, I am teaching a class on the Psalms at my parish. The other day as I was preparing for class, I was checking out the range of definitions of some of the key terms. In this case, it was the word “remembering.” Per Strong’s, one of the many and varied meanings is “to make male.” In thinking about that definition and in the context of the understanding of Biblical physiology and patriarchy, there is the sense of creating. The next word was “compassion” which has the understanding of womb, the realm of feminine creating.

The point was that the act of God’s remembering compassion was a fusion of masculine qualities and feminine qualities. I found that insight moving as an understanding of the Divine nature. The understanding resonates with Genesis 1 where the Text states, “So God created humankind in [God’s] image, in the image of God, [God] created them: male and female God created them.” (NRSV).

When God remembers compassion, then, it would follow that the receiver of that compassion is re-created, given a new lease, a new possibility, a turn of the page to start new. The touch of compassion is the touch of mercy that empowers.

The challenge is to receive the compassion, to be willing to start new with all the effort and work that beginning again requires. Compassion is creating and not sentimental. Compassion to be realized requests a response from the recipient. Consequently, there is the dialogue, the conversation that we might call prayer ~ prayer that is more than mere recitation, prayer that involves partners in the creating of that “one precious life” (per Mary Oliver) we are given.

(c)2018Margaret Lois Jansen