Thursday, April 15, 2010

Where Is The Needle On Your Compassion Meter?

I this photo Nonna was recovering from Rheumatic Fever while in the hospital in Germany. The girl sitting next to her would spend time reading and visiting with Nonna for hours upon hours. She stumbled upon my mom one day and found out a little of what she had endured and that she was all alone. Something deep inside of her was triggered to be willing to do this for Nonna. It would have been much easier for her to say hello and move on about her business, as I am sure that she had other things she could have been doing instead. She was young and attractive, the war had ended and everybody was going about rebuilding and starting new lives. Why take her free time and spend it with someone who she had not known, who had never been her friend and who was from another country? What was it about Nonna that attracted her?

I will tell you that she was full of kindness and had a deep hearted compassion for her fellow human beings. If she had not directly witnessed those atrocities, she surely had heard all about the evil that was done. She decided to care and be a friend to my mother, to spend time with her and lend her support in any way that she could. What a wonderful way to show God that you love him by caring for others. She had to put Nonna ahead of herself, which is true sacrifice, the real meaning of love.

My dad, Henry, has been in the hospital for the last week, having trouble with his Esophagus. As I was leaving late yesterday evening, I noticed a man pushing a small girl in a wheelchair across the parking lot. I guessed that she had MS or some other issue and they had been to physical therapy. I sat in my car and watched as he stopped at his car, opened his trunk, then opened the back door. He picked her up and struggled to place her in a car seat and strap her down, then took a deep breath and went to the trunk and folded up the wheelchair and placed it securely in the car. I immediately thought of what sacrifices this man must be going through for his daughter and I started to get a little teary eyed, not because I felt sorry for him, but because he was showing me his love and dedication and compassion, without knowing anyone was watching him. That, my friend, had an affect on my heart and showed me that my Compassion Meter was working fine.

No matter what we deal with, all the problems and stress that we each face, someone else is carrying a burden much heavier than us. The good news is that God will not give us more than we can handle, but we have to walk with faith to understand that this is true. Where is the needle on your Compassion Meter?

Love John

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