In this week's Gospel reading, we see a tired Christ surrounded by tired disciples, looking for some rest and respite from their work. But they can't find it, even when they get on a boat and sail away to an empty place. Crowds of the sick and needy still find them there. And Christ sees the crowd and Mark's gospel says "he had compassion for them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd."
If you are suffering from compassion fatigue in these times, you're not alone. Maybe this litany will be helpful to you.
God, we bear witness to Christ:
And in our own experience.
We see the times when he and his disciples were exhausted
By the constant cries of distressed people,
By exerting themselves in service
By crowds and noise and need.
We have felt those same feelings,
And needed similar rest.
Help us not to grow irritable or resistant
To the needs of human beings;
But to have compassion for your people,
The sheep of your pasture.
For we are among them,
Hungry and in need of healing;
Hoping to touch the fringe of Christ’s cloak (Mark 6:56),
Hoping for miracles.
Help us to find respite from noise and distraction
And find connection with you,
Life with you,
Nourishment with you,
Peace with you,
Rest with you.
As as we daily enter the quiet place of restoration,
May we find you there.
And when we must go a little farther, pour out a little more,
May we receive our strength from you.