You can’t Force the Heart to Love


You can’t force the heart to love, or for that matter, even to care about others. It is a wonder how often we try, how often our friends are critical when we seem complacent or worse, to ignore, those around us. Unfortunately, for us, compassion is something that we must learn.

What a terrible way to begin a blog, or a thought, especially one that others will read. Let me explain. Linda and I are sitting watching old reruns of the original HBO special Sex and the City. Funny! Shocking at times! Open!

We cannot force ourselves to fall in love. I remember when dating, there were times I thought I was in love, only to have misjudged not only me, but my date. Don’t get me wrong: I only proposed to one woman, and she accepted. That was over 50 years ago, and we are still living a life of true love.

Let me tell you a true story. We dated for a while back in high school, but it was not successful. While still in college, Linda was dating my best friend, Tom. Tom and Linda introduced me to a friend of hers in college, Nancy. Nancy and I were both fun lovers who dated, but never really hit it off; it was just one fun date after another, full of laughs. On one double date, I was arguing with Nancy, and Tom was arguing with Linda. Someone (I think it was Tom) suggested that we switch, just for that evening. It seemed like a great solution for the problems of that evening. To make a long story, short, I married Linda, and Tom and Nancy also married a year later. That was 50 years ago. We have given our hearts to our soul mates, forever.

But what about compassion. I said that we must learn compassion. I first wrote, but changed it: Compassion is something that we must earn. That sounded so right . . . originally. We don’t have to earn compassion; it is given to us freely by God. We just have to learn how to accept it, and how to feel it. We learn how to accept this gift from God, by giving it away. When we meet a person, or a family, who is going through hard times, we must be able to offer something, even if something is just understanding and consideration. We also can pray for those who are in desperate need for God’s love. We must learn to do automatically. Without thinking! This must be an immediate response.

We do, however, have to open our souls to allow God to enter our very beings to accept His compassion and learn to give it away. This is not as easy as it seems. Learning compassion is a slow process that we absorb almost like osmosis. It must seep into our very nature and develop it voice, the voice of God, within us. It has to become a core part of our being. If it is not, it will seem dishonest, and the people who need it will see the falseness behind our words and actions.

Just as God brings two people together to form a permanent bond of love, He also brings people into our lives who are in need of his Love and Compassion. We share this compassion because we all are his children.

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