Desperation exceeds want; it gnaws a hole into a person, aching to be filled. Often, that gnawing and aching is accompanied by rash decisions and extreme behavior, all in attempt to appease the longing and to end the agony.
Unfortunately, we don't always see the desperate man amidst his decisions. We can easily lose sight of his agony and draw our attention towards his antics. But when despair drives, compassion is key.
The word itself, compassion, derives from the Latin compati, which more directly translates to "suffer with." And, yes, this vicarious suffering can become quite unpleasant at times; yet it remains a gift. These empathic moments, sharing an emotional experience with another human being, offer insight into how we might be of greater support in assisting them to carry their burden...
In fact, that is exactly what we've been called to do:
"Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another..." - Colossians 3:12-13
God will not fail to equip you for what He has called you to do.
Look through the antics and into the agony; beyond the decisions and into the despair. Allow God to open the eyes of your heart to see into that of another, as harrowing as it may be. Surrender your own desperation unto Christ, then testify to the freedom gained within that surrender in His compassion for you; the compassion you extend to others.
That is where desperation meets compassion; a place between suffering and surrender.