She stood exasperated, ankle-deep in freezing, blowing snow, cute booties drenched, nylons soaked, frigid wind whipping at her legs. She lightly ran through the snow to the car waiting behind her. “I’m so sorry I’m taking so long. I just can’t figure out how to work this thing.”
Woman #2 in the car didn’t even hesitate. She jumped out into the blizzard and went to aid Woman #1 who was desperately trying to figure out how to air up her tires with the newfangled machine.
Woman #2 carefully and quickly aired up each tire while the not-dressed-for-cold-weather woman thanked her profusely for her kindness and compassion. #2 explained that she was a single mother now and had to learn these things. #1 admitted she should know how to do this already too, but had to go out of town right then and couldn’t wait for her husband to teach her how to inflate her low tire.
The women hugged and parted ways with #1 silently thanking God for sending someone so willing to help with no expectation of reward.
That woman #1 was me and #2 showed me true compassion. Without a thought, without grumbling about having to get out in the freezing snow, she helped me, a complete stranger.
“Compassion” means mercy, tenderness, heart.
Those three words accurately describe this woman’s actions that day.
It’s Christmas time and our generosity comes out like no other time of year. We find ourselves giving more–more in the offering plate, more in the cup of the person on the street, more to charity.
Sometimes we may take up a cause and visit strangers in the hospital or extended care facility. Maybe even adopt a less fortunate family and provide gifts and groceries.
We do good, right?
I’ll bet if we keep our eyes open and make an effort to be on the lookout, we will find opportunities every single day to show compassion.
It doesn’t have to be December and Christmas for our generous and compassionate streaks to show up.
Imagine you’re in the grocery store and see a mom who looks at the end of her rope, tired and haggard. Could a kind word from you make a difference in her life and encourage her?
What about paying for the coffee or breakfast of a person dining alone? You never know what their story might be.
A sincere smile for the person who simply looks like they could use a friend, might change someone’s day.
I’m challenging myself and you to watch for opportunities to show compassion everywhere you go. Doctor’s office. Grocery store. Work. School. Carpool. Family gatherings. Church. Shopping center.
When you find those opportunities and act on them, a change will occur…in the person you’re compassionate towards and in you. Come back here and share with us your compassion stories.
Melanie Pickett is a mom, second wife, and domestic abuse and sexual assault survivor who’s living her second calling as a writer and speaker. Melanie has battled Crohn’s disease and complications for over 20 years. Having survived a 15-year abusive first marriage, Melanie shares with her readers what she learned through that experience so that she may encourage and inspire others. Melanie has been featured on Huffington Post, The Mighty, Splickety Magazine, Whole Magazine, and Sonoma Christian Home where she’s an Associate Editor. Melanie’s favorite thing to do is spend time with her teenage children, husband, and black pug Gracie. She also loves to read, enjoys the beach and Great Lake near her home, works out (when health allows), and enjoys a good movie. One of Melanie’s favorite quotes is “We were born to be real, not to be perfect.”