Life, Poetry

Simple Compassion

Two voices and two poems for the ‘1000 Voices of Compassion movement. The first by my daughter and the second by me.  Please enjoy and never doubt that you do and will make a difference, the question is what kind of difference will you make? #1000Speak

1000Speak~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Be kind to others in need.
Be kind and loving to others.
Even if they’re not kind and loving to you.
Have compassion for your sisters and brothers,
for God is waiting for you to be loving, just as He is.
For there will be people coming.
You will need to help these people.
Even if they’re not kind and loving to you.
For I tell you nothing is to small,
for it is simple enough to just have COMPASSION.

~Muppin ©2015, Age 10
♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡

How are you she asked.
“I don’t know. “
Was my halting reply.
Staring back I was thinking,
I don’t understand
As you stand before me
Passively with outstretched hand
compassion seems small
the kindness before a fall
grace and love is all
What do you want she asked next.
“I don’t know. “
I answered again
As my mind continued to turn.
It doesn’t make sense
Are these wishes just this
Prayers disguised as defense
compassion may be
the best of life we will see
love for you and me
What do you need she then asked.
“Simple compassion.”
I responded without hesitation.
My thoughts still churning.
The pain I now feel
Is the result of a past connection
That was once so real
compassion is love
through redemptive action of
grace, mercy and love

~Mark Schutter ©2015 > #JustBelieve  #GraceWins  #HopeLives

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Art, Life

Compassion #1000Speak – Why?

So, what is this post all about? Short answer: a little glimpse into who I am and why COMPASSION and the 1000 Voices for Compassion movement is important to me. So let’s get started, shall we?.

I am an artist but then aren’t we all?

The Background: Our lives are our masterpieces that we create each day either by addition, subtraction, building up or tearing down. I attempt to capture moments through my art: using pictures and words to encourage and shine a light into dark places.

What seems another lifetime ago I stood silently holding the hand of someone I planned to spend the rest of my life with. Feeling wholly helpless I could only watch her die from the evil cancer that ravaged her young body. I have traversed my own valley of shadows, and occasionally I will wander and find myself back there in that dark. I have cried, screamed, railed and bargained against the seeming injustice of it all and the randomness of another beautiful life gone. I pitied myself; while many tried to show me compassion, kindness and tenderness.

“The pain I feel now is the happiness I had before. That’s the deal.” ~CS Lewis

I have slowly realized over 20 years later that my own pain should not and must not be the focus. Every person is fighting a battle and most of us have no idea. I know that many I have encountered over the years never see my scars for I carry them on the inside. The pain hidden deep, I retreat like a frightened child.

I am now slowly rebuilding my life on a belief and hope that there is a reason to the seeming madness of this world. I have since married a wonderful women who loves me in spite of my hypocritical and narcissistic self. I watched the birth of our daughter and have cherished watching her grow into a precious and loving ten-year old little lady.

Why it is Important to Me: From life to death and back to life my journey has taken me there. Life will go on, we do not get that choice.  It only matters what we do with our lives.

Now, in what I like to refer to as the second chapter of my life; I wish to share the joys, the sorrows, the hope and maybe even inspire someone on this crazy wonderful journey that we call life. I believe in the ‘ripple effect’, touch one life and you may touch the world.  The world craves compassion and we should freely give it both to others and to ourselves.

“To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived – that is to have succeeded.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

This movement of over a 1000 strong participants posting about COMPASSION on February 20, 2015 is important to me. For I know that love will win. We must have compassion for each other and for ourselves. We can only do the best we can and often that is good enough. I will be posting on February 20th, which will include a special piece written by my daughter. You are more than you know!

I borrowed and plagiarized the following from the blog of Lizzi Rogers, one of the co-creators of this great event. (Thanks Lizzi! 🙂 )

What you can do: JOIN IN!

I have not seen a lot of men among the over 1000 participants, so guys consider this my challenge to you.  It is not to late to join in.  You don’t have to spill your guts – promise – but if you take part somehow, on ANY kind of social media platform, on February 20th, letting the world know that you’re putting something out there for 1000Speak, and relating something to do with compassion and why it matters to you, then you add weight and unique perspective to the movement.

Join us on Facebook

Find us at the 1000Speak blog

Use the #1000Speak hashtag on Twitter and Instagram

Promote this movement everywhere you can, and keep checking back to see how it’s going. Spread the word – we can’t do it alone.

We really are stronger together – 1000Speak needs YOU! Join the village, and BRING the difference.

wpid-img_20140612_122453.jpgIf you have read this far, thank you and I leave you with this.  I need a drink 🙂 because being this transparent as I have on this blog about my life, my failings and my journey is a little scary.   But hey, it is who I am and so I will be kind to myself.  Be kind to yourselves and remember show compassion to everyone you meet! ~M

Life, Photograph

Love and Compassion – What do you want me to do for you?

Love and CompassionAs they were leaving Jericho, a large crowd followed Him. And two blind men sitting by the road, hearing that Jesus was passing by, cried out, “Lord, have mercy on us, Son of David !”  The crowd sternly told them to be quiet, but they cried out all the more, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!” And Jesus stopped and called them, and said, “What do you want Me to do for you?” They said to Him, “Lord, we want our eyes to be opened.” Moved with compassion, Jesus touched their eyes; and immediately they regained their sight and followed Him.  ~Matthew 20:29-34 (NASB)

The bible records that wherever Jesus went people cried out Him, especially those shunned by society, the outcasts, and the rejects, those who had lost all hope the things of this world, in others and in any ability to save themselves. 

Isn’t this still true today?  Even after 2000 years, when we are hurt, lost and without hope; is it then that we cry out to God?  I wonder if in those moments those who profess no belief in God also find themselves calling out to something larger and beyond themselves.

What strikes me was the response of Jesus; he stops, calls to them and simply asks, “What do you want Me to do for you?”

Jesus gave no indication that He knew what they wanted.  He simply asked and waited for them to answer. Could it be true that Jesus, often in a still small voice, is asking this very same question even today, to you and to me? “What do you want Me to do for you?”

So I leave you with this – maybe we should also be asking this question of others?  Many are yearning and waiting for someone, anyone to ask them this question.  So set aside your own agenda and thinking that you know exactly how to solve the problem and ask.

The blind men knew exactly what they wanted Jesus to do for them, “Lord, we want our eyes to be opened.”  Clear and straight to the point was their answer as I suspect those in need also know exactly what they may need in that moment but no one ever asks.  We give them our answers, our promises, even our good intentions but we do not ask what do they truly want.

I believe that love and compassion first starts here. In order for us to meet a need at that still point and to truly fulfill it we must first ask the question and wait for an answer.  Even if the question is asked silently within the halls of our own hearts.

Just Believe ~ Grace Wins ~ Hope Lives
1000 Voices for Compassion

 

Life

Compassion is a Verb

I encourage everyone to visit the site Cards of Hope and see how you can help to bring inspiration and happiness to people battling CANCER.  Her mission touches me on a very personal level because of my own experiences (you can read about that on my about page if interested).Lacie created the site to bring inspiration and happiness to people battling CANCER.  Cards of Hope was founded because of her experience staying with a friend, Pennie, who had terminal cancer. She was always looking for some glimmer of hope or joy in every day that she was alive. To quote Lacie, “Battling CANCER is a horrendous thing to have to go through, and I feel that if I can do anything to brighten a Cancer warrior’s day then I will do it.”

Cards of Hope functions on a purely donation basis.  The following list is only a few of the many items needed that can help brighten a warrior’s day.

*envelopes
*cards
*stamps (They Always Need Stamps!)
*stickers
*paper

*gift cards
*coloring pages
*post cards
*bookmarks
*books
*crayons
*cross word puzzle books
*new stuffed animals
*construction paper

You can view more items that are needed hereYou can also send money orders or checks for a donation.  Remember compassion, kindness and love are verbs.  They require action and you may actually experience the greater blessing by your giving.

In addition be sure to join the 1000 Voices for Compassion movement to flood social media with compassion on February 20, 2015. #1000Speak Together we can make a difference!

Art, Life

Twitter Art Exhibit 2015

Some beginning pencil image_1sketches for new drawings or paintings I have in mind this coming year.  I am working on finalizing one of these sketches to submit for this year’s Twitter Art Exhibit in Moss, Norway – #twitterartexhibit

The Twitter Art Exhibit: Moss is an international exhibition of original postcard art benefiting Home-Start Moss, a nonprofit organization helping families in need. Home-Start believes that every child deserves the best start in life. By matching experienced volunteers to families with young children, Home-Start provides support that is free to the family, confidential, and based on individual needs. Volunteers do not make judgements or tell the parents how to live their lives; instead, they try to encourage confidence and independence, and help families build their own networks of friends and other support.

Twitter Art Exhibit: Moss is the fifth installment of an open international exhibition of handmade postcard art for charity, donated by hundreds of participating artists from around the globe.  You can visit the Home-Start Moss websites here >

Home-Start website (Norwegian):
www.home-start-norge.no

English (UK):
http://www.home-start.org.uk

Thanks to David Sandrum for tirelessly promoting this fantastic event.  It is not too late to participate but time is running out as postcard entries must be received by March 1, 2015.  Be sure to visit the Twitter Art Exhibit website for all the details.

ONE POSTCARD = MANY TWEETS » SPREAD THE WORD!
Our Twitter account is @twitrartexhibit. Please follow us! We appreciate RTs and mentions. We suggest you post a pic of your card on Twitter before mailing it, and use the hashtag #twitterartexhibit so that we can share the love! If you wish, curator David Sandum may be reached at @DavidSandum, and TwitterArtExhibit board members Maria Pedrero and Nat George may be reached at @robinpedrero and @natgeorgela, respectively. You may also connect with Helen Mollatt from Home-Start Moss at @HomeStartMoss.

Here are the links to my submission for previous years –

Twitter Art Exhibit – Orlando (2014)

 “Forest Flames” – Twitter Art Exhibit: LA

Under a Silver Lining

Life

1000 Voices of Compassion

Compassion comes in all shapes and sizes, never to big or too small. 

Each and every act matters!

Thanks to Yvonne Spence and Lizzi Rogers for spearheading this great idea.

1000 Voices of Compassion

This event will be 1000 bloggers, at least, writing posts about compassion, kindness, support, caring for others, non-judgement, care for the environment etc, and ALL PUBLISH ON THE SAME DAY (Feb 20, 2015) to flood the Blogosphere with GOOD!

Use the hashtag #1000Speak to promote this event across social media.

I will be participating and just maybe posting something my 10-year-old daughter will be writing also. Join the Facebook group and get your write on!

To laugh often and much; To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.    ~Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 – 1882) American Essayist & Poet