Friday, February 23, 2018

Lent Words Day 9: Guest Post by Bernice Hopper

Today's Lent Word is Compassion.

Today's post is written by Bernice Hopper. Bernice and I met a number of years ago online through a class she was leading through her blog. Bernice was one of the first women I met who was also combining her faith with her art journaling. We have journeyed together in the online world through the founding of the His Kingdom Come community in 2015, various guest posts on each other's blogs, and currently we are co-leading an online group on Facebook with Valerie Sjodin called Everyday Journals and Living Your Word for the Year. In addition to our online friendship we have had a number of opportunities to be together in person taking small road trips and creating our own personal retreats. Please visit Bernice on her blog Newly Creative.

Read Psalm 103:8-14 1 Peter 1:8-9
My church doesn’t follow the church calendar very much apart from Christmas and Easter. So apart from having pancakes as close to Shrove Tuesday as I can, I really don’t have much experience of following a Lenten tradition. However I feel that the word Mary chose for today – compassion – is
a year long, lifetime word. A bit like the ‘A dog is not just for Christmas’ campaign, I believe compassion is not just for Lent’.

God is a God of compassion. One of His names is Rakhum which is sometimes translated as Merciful God but can also be translated as Compassionate God.

In Deuteronomy 4:31 (NASB) we are told ‘For the LORD your God is a compassionate God;He will not fail you nor destroy you nor forget the covenant with your fathers which Heswore to them’.

Psalm 103:8 (NIV) describes God this way: ‘The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love’.

Throughout the Old Testament we see God showing compassion to His people. We see people struggling through hard times but God always shows compassion and comes to their rescue. And then the most spectacular rescue of all is Jesus dying on the Cross for us. I find it really hard to grasp the depth of compassion God felt for us that He sent his Son to die for us. I could hardly bear to see my son hurt in any way and nothing that happened to him compared with what Jesus did for us.

We often use other words for compassion: pity, sympathy, feeling, empathy, understanding, care, concern, solicitousness, tender-heartedness, soft-heartedness, warm-heartedness, warmth, love, brotherly love, tenderness, gentleness, mercy, tolerance, consideration,kindness, humanity, kind-heartedness, benevolence.

But when we feel compassion (or any of those other words we use) we need to do something. We can give money to aid charities and think that is enough. But we need to act. We can show compassion in the way we live our lives, in the way we speak to and about people and in the way we pray.

We are made in God’s image so compassion is a trait we should embrace. 1 Peter 3:8 (TPT) says
‘Now, this is the goal: to live in harmony with one another and demonstrate affectionate love, sympathy, and kindness toward other believers. Let humility describe who you are as you dearly
love one another’.

Everyone needs compassion.

Mighty to Save

I have been following along with Mary's Lent Words and writing one verse each day in my EveryDay Journal.

Join Our Inspirational Facebook Group

Bernice Hopper, Valerie Sjodin and I are using one journal to record events, experiences and relationships and  to explore our word’s meaning in visual and fun ways. We are each blogging about our experiences and our art. If you would like to connect with others about creatively organizing your word, your ideas, thoughts, prayers, events, or your projects all in one journal, you are invited to join our Facebook group: Everyday Journals – Living Your Word of the Year.

Hashtags on Instagram: #everydayjournals2018, #livingyourword2018

Check out the other blogs:

Also, join us for Lent Words 2018 -  A Creative Challenge Through the Season of Lent. More about it in this post. There is  a private Facebook group for the Lent challenge:


  1. Bernice and Mary, Thank you for writing about God's compassion toward us. It is just the beautiful message I need today, just as joy was needed yesterday.

    1. I am so glad the Lent Words and Scripture passages, as well as the devotions are ministering to you, Valerie. :)