A few years ago my grandson J then 12 and I went to church and on the way home stopped at KFC for lunch.
As we pulled into the parking lot I noticed an old man, dirty and thin sitting on the side of the road by a small tree. I saw my grandson's face flash over to him and then look down, I saw what he felt.
We walked in and ordered and then sat down to lunch. As I began to eat I saw his head down again and he couldn't take a bite. He said "I can't eat this" I responded "I know I saw your face". Then I said "it's OK go ahead".
He stood up, picked up his food and walked out the door. I watched him every step to know he was safe as he walked out of the parking lot and over to the weary old man sitting on the ground and handed him his food. I saw the man take it and speak to him and J speaking back.
I couldn't hear a word but I didn't need to, tears welled in my eyes as I just sat there praying and thanking God for this child's compassion. As it was a joyous thought it was also a sad one. This child felt such a need to help this person who lacked because unfortunately he had spent his life "lacking". That pain was all to known to him and he couldn't bare seeing someone else feel what he was so familiar with feeling.
What a wonderful thing that this child is capable of such compassion whatever the reason why. I wondered if the man felt more grateful for the food or the conversation, the caring.
It was such a small thing to do with such huge rewards for all three of us. As the grandparent/parent of this child I was so emotional with love, pride and yes compassion for both of them I can't describe what happened inside. I am thinking now how absolutely, magnificently, monstrously wonderful God must feel to see one of His (us) each time we follow His will and reach out to someone, anyone. How blessed I am to have been involved in a tiny, fraction of that overwhelming feeling that day. I tear up just remembering it, it is one of my fondest memories.
I know we can't do it all, I know nowadays it's dangerous, I am aware that there are so many who need help but, today especially we need to find that compassion.
So many are without and I don't mean toys for Christmas, I mean life's necessities. The "lacking" is growing everyday and it could at any minute be any one of us. I watched on the news this week a report on how many (thousands) of tent cities are going up all over the United States just like during the great depression. I listened as people still "with" were interviewd and apauled at the tents, I felt ashamed of us.
These people are dwelling in tents, people who a few short months ago had homes to live in. They are building communities with others, sharing there food and blankets. They are stripped of everything they once owned. They are leaning on each other and I am thinking they are somehow blessed. They are out of the rat race, the fear of loosing it all, the pressure. So many, so many tens of thousands. But by the grace of God it is them not I, and as times get harder there will be more and more of this.
We ALL need to find our compassion and find it fast. Your neighbor may be hungry one of mine is and I recently found that out. I do what I can and feed the 2 kids a couple of nights a week and a sandwich on the weekend. I can't hand them money but I can in some way reach out, I will find a way, God will present that way to me or you if we are open to it. You don't know what hurt is until a child knocks on your door and says "you got anything to eat, can I have some" That is exactly what I am experiencing here and now - can you even imagine? I buy multi packs of potted mean, balogna and lots of peanut butter and hot dogs! As long as God hands me the food, I am going to feed anyone that comes to my door hungry. I have been known to split 2 little pieces of chicken 4 ways many times.
All the kids around here think I am there grandma and come here for treats or just someone to spend time with them. With the little money I have I buy clay, markers and puzzles and spend time with them - they love those things. I have cookies and milk (corny as that sounds) and hot dogs all the time and God willing to provide I will have those treats and I certainly will have the time. I have been not working for some time and concerned, I have prayed and applied and God has provided for me and Z no matter what. I have wondered why am I here now living like this and it is crystal clear to me today that this is exactly where God wants me and how he wants me and all of this is the reason why.
My grandson Z has special needs and so do these other kids. The parents are looking for work and struggling so, their childen need someone to look out for them, they need to be fed and loved and I don't know how but with all the compassion I have it's enough for here and now.
If anyone needs to eat Lord send them to my door just keep the hot dogs coming!
I am grateful to God for what I feel, for being here as I am, for being needed and for Him making me able to fill those needs for others. I feel so blessed today as I know this is what God wants me to do. I am loving so many people right now and I am sure God is swelled with tears and emotions that I finally get it. Keep me lowly Father keep taking care of us Lord and make me understand so that I fill the needs of others that You place before me - You are so Awesome and I am so blessed by You. (I could use some more clay and markers too Lord, hint hint!)