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Sep 29, 2019

 

166 I Found No Pity A Guided Christian Meditation on Psalm 69:18-20

 

I'm Chaplain Jared and I work as a hospice chaplain and an ICU chaplain, my purpose in making this podcast is to help you find more peace in your life and to be more open for your heart to be changed by the Spirit of God.  By using centuries old form of Christian Meditation named Lectio Divina:

 

Outline: Relaxation, Reading, Meditation, Prayer, Contemplation and Visualization.

 

Get into a place where you can sit comfortably and uninterrupted for about 20 minutes.You should hopefully not be driving or anything tensing or unrelaxing.  If you feel comfortable to do so, I invite you to close your eyes.

 

Guided Relaxation / Guided Meditation:

 

Breathe and direct your thoughts to contacting God. Let your stomach be a balloon inflate, deflate.

Bible verses for Meditation:

 

Luke 17

 

KJV

17 And hide not thy face from thy servant; for I am in trouble: hear me speedily.

18 Draw nigh unto my soul, and redeem it: deliver me because of mine enemies.

19 Thou hast known my reproach, and my shame, and my dishonour: mine adversaries are all before thee.

20 Reproach hath broken my heart; and I am full of heaviness: and I looked for some to take pity, but there was none; and for comforters, but I found none.

 

NRSV

 

 

 

17 

     Do not hide your face from your servant,

         for I am in distress, make haste to answer me.

18 

Draw near to me, redeem me,

      set me free because of my enemies.

19 

You know the insults I receive,

    and my shame and dishonor;

    my foes are all known to you.

20 

Insults have broken my heart,

    so that I am in despair.

I looked for pity, but there was none;

    and for comforters, but I found none.

 

Meditation on Scripture:

 

Do you like to have other people pity you?  In my experience most people would answer no to this question. The idea of someone gloating over your sadness is too hard to deal with; however, this demonstrates a cheap form of pity. The actual definition of the world pity has to do with a feeling of compassion. Yet somehow in our language pity has taken on negative baggage and unintended meaning. I imagine two different situations. You are experiencing something challenging and someone responds with pity. They feel sorry for you but you have no feeling that they understand you or even that they are listening or care and it frustrates you. Now in a second situation you are going through something difficult and someone responds to your hurt with genuine kindness and compassion. They let you tell them about it or not, depending on what you may need in that moment. After ten minutes in either of these two situations it is likely that the pity without compassion would make things worse, and the compassion would likely make you feel better. 

 

The truth is, all of us would like to feel understood and accepted. Psalm 69 is considered a Messianic Psalm in Christianity. In other words it is foretelling aspects of the ministry and life of Jesus, the Messiah. This scripture was quoted in multiple places in the New Testament. Early Christians saw this whole Psalm in the context of Jesus. Here the Psalmist, who also refers to Jesus, shares their sadness that there is nobody to give them pity and comfort them. Jesus would have welcomed pity at the cross. 

 

So perhaps what we really want is compassion, love, and acceptance, and what we don 't want is judgement, selfishness, and condescension. Im my work with those who suffer, pity, in the true sense of the meaning, is actually something that most people desperately crave. It is the thing that I have spent the most time refining and correcting in my own tendency. Avoiding patronizing or minimizing language as I share suffering with people through pity, or compassion if you prefer. So as we look to follow the example of the cross here as Jesus was mocked and offered vinegar. When Jesus perceived that the face of the Father was turned from him, he just wanted pity. He wanted someone to show him compassion.

 

Meditation of Prayer:

 

Pray as directed by the Spirit.

Dedicate these moments to the patient waiting, when you feel ready ask God for understanding you desire from Him.

 

Meditation of God and His Glory / Hesychasm:

 

I invite you to sit in silence feeling being patient for your own faults and trials.

Summarize what insights you have gained during this meditation and meditate and visualize positive change in your life:

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Updates:

 

Final Question: How good are you at showing genuine loving pity?

 

Final Thought: I think one of the most valuable things I do which prepares people for pastoral counseling is genuine pity. What I mean by that is that I show people that I deeply desire to hear of how bad they feel and that I will not be damaged by their feelings. I try and make people feel understood without trivializing their suffering. Above all I gently let them teach me how bad it is to be them for a little while. The surprising thing is that when people feel that you are genuine and validate their sadness people find great comfort in this and it opens their hearts to change and hope. It is something that still surprises me how effective it is. The other day I was sitting with a dying woman and her friends were trying to cheer her up by rebutting each complaint she felt. I could see their compassion but ultimately it did not reach their friend. I briefly stepped in to acknowledge the hardships she was explaining. I shared pity with her and after a few very brief moments she was ready to look for positive steps to change things. We so desperately want to be understood. With this same intensity we should desire to understand others and yet remain curious enough that we never feel that we truly understand 100% 

 

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