Photo by Matteo Vistocco at Unsplash
Compassion In Action
The past few weeks have been extremely busy, and yesterday was no exception. All of the running around, meeting deadlines, meeting people, and just going, going, going nonstop seems to have just conditioned me to be in continual state of rushing. To be honest, it has been really tiring, and to be really honest I can get a little short fused when I feel like I’m always in a frenzied rush.
Yesterday, I had to stop at a store to pick up another case of bottled water for something I’m working on. They were out of 24 packs, so I had to get the 36 pack of bottled water. I was trying desperately to maneuver through the aisles toward the register, so I could check out and hopefully not drop them. I should have just gotten a cart when I came in the store, but remember—I was in a rush.
I underestimated how heavy a 36 pack of bottled water could be apparently, but I soon found out. When I finally got to the register there was an elderly man in line in front of me. At this point, I thought for sure my arm was going to completely come unattached and fall to the floor with all the water bottles. He only had a couple of items, so I was grateful.
But, as he ever so slowly took his money from his wallet and continued to move at a snails pace, I became more and more impatient. Any minute these 36 bottles of water were going to be rolling in 36 different directions when I dropped this pack. I was thinking, “Please, just hurry up and move!”
The lady at the register told the elderly gentleman to have a good day. Then—under his breath—I heard the gentleman say, “I never have a good day anymore.” Immediately, my impatience turned to shame. What could be more heartbreaking than never having a good day?
I got a really good look at him as he turned and walked toward the door. Now I was in a bigger rush than I had been before! I wanted to talk to that man. I wanted to pay for this water and run it out to my vehicle as fast as possible so I could flag down this sad looking gentleman.
I prayed, “Lord, please don’t let him get away before I can get out of here.”
I moved as quickly as I could to my car and threw the bottled water inside. Then I turned to see where the gentleman had gone. He was just starting to back out of his parking space to leave, so I ran toward him waving. I guess he thought I was just being really friendly because he waved back at me.
I kept running toward him motioning for him to stop. He finally stopped, and I approached him. I was overwhelmed by the sadness in his eyes, and I felt so guilty for being in such a hurry inside the store that I didn’t take the time to notice that before.
I put my hand on his shoulder and said, “Sir, I couldn’t help but overhear what you said inside the store. You said, you never have a good day anymore. So, I was wondering if I could pray for you?” He said, “Well, sure I guess.” He turned his truck off right there in the middle of the parking lot. He looked at me and said, “Twenty years ago I broke my left leg. It was all messed up! It’s never been right since then. It gives me trouble everyday. I can’t remember the last good day I’ve had.”
Somehow I sensed he wasn’t just talking about his leg injury. I felt a deep sadness that just seemed to emanate from every pore of his being. I looked into his eyes and said, “Sir, can I ask you a question?” He nodded, and I continued, “Do you know Jesus as your Savior?
He looked at me and replied, “Yes ma’am I do.”
I said, “That is great. I’m so glad to hear that. Now let’s pray for that leg of yours.”
As I began to pray for him, I prayed that God would restore the joy of his salvation, and that his leg would be healed in the Name of Jesus. I prayed that he would have many, many, many good days, and even more great days, and that He would know that he never faced a single day alone because Jesus was with him! Honestly, I don’t remember what else I prayed, but when I opened my eyes there were tears in his big blue eyes.
It wasn’t tears of sadness this time. I no longer felt that sense of hopelessness that had been so prevalent earlier. He looked at me and speaking through tears muttered, “Thank you ma’am.” He then started his truck and drove away.
We live in a society that is so fast paced. The enemy of our souls would love to have us so consumed with our daily activities that we never even look into the eyes of another person. Many times—I myself— have found myself trying not to make eye contact with those around me, so that I can speed through my tasks and keep moving.
We all like to think of ourselves as compassionate people. But, what if we took the time to put compassion into action? It’s great to have compassion for others, but it’s even greater to act upon it when we know the Holy Spirit is prompting us. I pray that God will continue to slow me down and open my eyes to those who are hurting around me.
Let’s try to do this together! Ask God to lead you to someone who needs prayer, or needs to be encouraged or uplifted this week. Then share your stories with me! I want to hear them.
One final note! This past week my blog was named #24 in Feedspot's Top 40 Evangelical Blogs. Thank you for reading, and sharing my blog posts with others. It's you--my readers--that helped me accomplish this!
Blessings, Donna Sparks
Donna Sparks is an International Speaker and Evangelist. She is the Author of Beauty From Ashes: My Story of Grace, and, No Limits: Embracing the Miraculous.