2 Corinthians 1:3-4: “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.”

Throughout time and everywhere on this planet, people deal with problems. A life without trouble simply does not exist. Going through trouble I personally have found strength in the quiet presence of God’s Spirit. Still, I also strongly believe that God’s presence is fully expressed in human compassion.

Nobody’s heart likes to be broken. Moments of exasperation won’t be listed as our favorite memories. We like to think of the day we met the love of our life; the day we held our first child; the day we experienced a significant breakthrough. We like to revisit our mountaintop moments while we do not like to dwell on our losses and failures.

Whether we go through a moment of victory or a moment of loss – God is in both moments. – While victories have a tendency to set us apart, our failures may have a lot of hidden potential also. People admire a hero from afar, but they can probably better relate to a flawed anti-hero who does not always win. It is very human to fail. Loss reminds us of our humanness – and I believe it is good to be reminded, at least from time to time.

Loss puts us into a position where we need God the most. God is our merciful Father and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. He is the source of all comfort; healing is under His wings; in Him we find enduring hope. Experiencing His peace in the face of adversity, we can in turn encourage others. Hope is contagious. Who knows – you may very well be somebody’s ray of hope today without even realizing it.

If loss has created any kind of empathy in us, then we have gained more than all of our prior victories combined. Success may feel exhilarating, and yet it is not our victories that connect us to our fellow human beings. Compassion however connects and soothes the pain.

The theme song of “The Last of the Mohicans” is a musical outcry expressing the pain of attempted genocide. Converting our pain into a song, triggers hope. As long as we cry out, there is a chance that we will be heard.

Who cares about our trouble? Maybe more people than we think. Certainly God cares – and I believe He is the One creating awareness and stirring empathy. Empathy ignites compassion; compassion ignites hope, and hope is the reason why we are still here.

Luke 12:6-7: “Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.”

The Lord has a knack for details, and He has a knack for remembering things we deem unimportant. We hire accountants to count our money. We certainly don’t hire anybody to keep track of the numbers of hair on our heads. Why would that be even remotely interesting?

Here’s the kicker: Our dead hair falling off our scalps is more alive than the dead coins representing our money. And God is more interested in life than in death.

Every being that breathes is a creation of God and as such of utmost interest to our Creator. If we share in His interest, then we are close to the Almighty, if not even dead center to the movements of His heart.

I’ve always felt that the Lord shows up through our compassion. A CNN reporter recently spoke of a man who for the past 23 years made it his habit to visit with mourners in the aftermath of a catastrophe. Here is an excerpt of his report about a man by the name of Zanis:

Since 1996, when he found his father-in-law murdered, Zanis has built 26,680 crosses, he said on the drive. He would add nine names to his orange notebook after Dayton, he said.

He estimates 21,000 are shooting victims. He’s also taken his white crosses to the aftermath of tornadoes and wildfires, bus and boat crashes, and to Martha’s Vineyard after JFK Jr. and his relatives died in a plane crash. He took five in February to the Henry Pratt Company after a shooting unfolded in his hometown.

Asked how he staves off sadness, he said he doesn’t.

“I break down. You’re going to see me cry. I don’t mind,” he said. “I hug victims all the time, and I try to be strong, but I’m really not. I’m OK with that. I feel so good afterwards because I’ve done something.”

We all feel small sometimes. If you happen to feel like an inconsequential little Sparrow at this very moment, know that you are not forgotten. God remembers you. And people moved by His Spirit remember you too. You are not alone!

We all matter. Nonetheless, our ability to share in each other’s sorrows is putting this thought into action. Helping each other out is both the most human and divine thing happening here on planet Earth.