Claire’s Take on Compassion

Note: This week, you’ll hear from Claire Montgomery, the leading lady of Exiled Heart, as she talks about compassion.

I’m not sure how much you know about me. I’m a nurse, a flight nurse to be exact. I started out working in the Emergency Department at Potter Hospital in Charleston, South Carolina. Save for two years when I stayed home to take care of my son, I’ve worked in one of those two jobs. Working in the Emergency Department or out in the field, I’ve seen more injuries than I care to count.

People with whom I come into contact are at their most broken. They need compassion. So do their families. In addition to taking care of the patient, I also take care of their families. You’d be surprised at how far a listening ear or an offer to get a drink can go in comforting someone. And yes, I’ve cried alongside some family members.

I also like to think that my compassion bleeds into my personal life as well. Though I’m single, family matters the world to me. I love nothing more than to have my nephews, Tripp and Randy, or my niece, Anna Kate, to come over and spend the night with me. And as my sisters marry and have children, I know the number of nieces and nephews will multiply.

Friends matter the world to me as well. I have a group of ladies who have become my lifeline in terms of prayer. We study Scripture together. We cry together. And yes, we laugh together. I like to joke that they keep me in line. Sometimes that’s hard, but I value their wisdom, especially Sonja. Sometimes I joke that she knows me better than she knows myself.

Outside my work and friends, I do my best to have compassion on strangers. I have to remember that I don’t know their story. I don’t know their history and why they act a certain way. And sometimes, it can be hard. Especially if a Muslim man starts lording his superiority over me. That’s happened a few times with doctors who have come to the hospital for fellowships. Fortunately, that’s been few and far between.

However, its’ probably going to come to a head and sooner than I realize. You see, my sister is getting ready to marry a guy named Ben Evans. They actually met over in Jeddah where she’s been a contract physical therapist and he an FBI attaché. His best friend is a colonel in the Saudi Arabian National Guard, and something tells me he’s going to be his best man. Unless I hurry up and get a boyfriend or something, I’m going to be stuck with him as my date since Em has asked me to be her maid of honor. She promises he’s a nice guy, but if he needs it, I’m going to find it hard to have compassion on him since he’s Saudi. Big time.

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