In the last month or so I have witnessed God working in so many ways. Anybody that says they can’t see signs of God needs to open their eyes.I recently shared in one of my devotions about the young waiter who took our hands and said to us, “I am a believer” and he prayed with us as we shared a blessing over the food.
On the same trip we were packing our car after staying in a hotel for the night. As my friend finished packing I looked at this older man who was weeding the flower beds and working hard at landscaping the front of the hotel. I thought to myself it was great for the hotel to hire this older gentleman to do this work. Before we pulled away the gentleman came over to our car. We rolled the window down and this gentleman thanked us for staying and hoped we enjoyed the visit. After talking to him for a few minutes we realized he was the owner of the hotel. Wow! Now how many owners do you see getting down and doing the nitty gritty work? So many of our CEO’s believe it is not their job. Not only that, but how many do you know stop and take the time to thank people for doing business with them? He let us know the other hotels in the area aren’t really happy with him; seems like he pays his employees a little more than the rest of the hotels in that area and he gets the better employees so my hat goes off to him. Maybe the others should sit up and take notice. I was impressed with this man and impressed with his business sense.
Then the other day as I volunteered I witnessed something only God could have orchestrated. One gentleman had come in to get some much needed help. He shared with me his story. He was in need of some pots and pans. He was the caretaker for his wife and disabled child. He had only two pots and pans to cook from and needed a few more. I told him I would see what I could do. He returned to the lobby. I found some information for him and was sharing with him we didn’t have any at that time, but he could stop in and see if we had some later. There was another man who had come in to get groceries and was in need. He heard the conversation and apologetically interrupted our conversation to say he had extra and would be willing to share with this man. They exchanged numbers and the need was taken care of.
I got goose bumps realizing what had just happened; two men in need; two men in to ask for help and two men who did not know each other but showed up at the exact same time. Both men in need, yet one of the men had an abundance of something the other needed and he was willing to share with this stranger. God saw a need we couldn’t handle, but He handled it. This has happened on more than one occasion and I am always in awe of this. Often times a need we can’t handle is often handled by someone else who is in need and willing to help.
So what do these two stories have in common? Compassion is the common thread to that links these two stories together. You see I am sure the hotel owner is not a man in need. Although he may not be wealthy as some might think (or maybe he is) he shows compassion towards his workers. He could pay them less and make more instead he shows compassion towards them and offers more than is expected of him. He showed compassion and concern as he stepped up to the car and made sure our visit was pleasant. He also showed his employees and his guests he was not too good to get down on his knees and do some manual labor.
Compassion was shown in the second instance as one man who had little reached out to help another one who was in need. Compassion was given even when he was in need. I think of the scripture Jesus shares about the woman who gave her last coin. “Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents. Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.” Mark 12:41-44. This man didn’t have much, but what he had he was willing to share.
Compassion in the Thesaurus means consideration, care and kindness; concern. Both of these men who came from different backgrounds had concern for those around them. It didn’t matter how much money they had or didn’t have they saw a need and gave. The rich and the poor gave; there was no distinction.
How many times do we see a need and we turn the other way? How many times have I heard about a need and knew I could help with that need, made a mental note to help, but soon went on my way and forgot?
God calls us to be a compassionate person. Ephesians 4:32 says, “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” 1 Peter 3:8 reminds us, “Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind.” I could find many more scriptures for you on being compassion toward one another. This would be a good study for you to do one day. Take the time to look up all the compassionate scriptures and study them.
I know I am guilty of this, but how many of us have clothes that overflow in our closet, but can’t seem to think of anything we have to give when a clothing drive is done locally? I know I have more than one pair of shoes. I think giving one pair away wouldn’t hurt me when I see someone who as none.
It’s not about what we give or how much we give. It’s about giving with a caring heart. It’s about having compassion toward another who is struggling. It’s about reaching out and touching someone’s heart and making life a little better for them. As we drove away from the hotel we both were smiling; the owner had made our day. I love going into restaurants where occasionally the owner or the manager will come around and ask if everything is okay and ask if we are in need of anything. That shows me he is a compassionate and caring person. It may be good for business, but while he is doing it for his business it makes his customers appreciate him a little more.
Have you taken a compassionate inventory lately? How compassionate and caring are you? Oh, I know there are some who are takers and want nothing more than to take from you, but isn’t that between them and God? If God has called you to help them and they take advantage don’t stop being compassionate. Let God deal with them, you just keep giving. Jesus showed compassion toward those who crucified them. Remember the scripture, “Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.” Luke 23:34 If Jesus can show compassion to those who crucified Him while He is on the cross then how much more should we show compassion on our daily walk with Him toward others?
Compassion: sympathy, empathy, concern, kindness, consideration and caring. Do those words describe you? What would this world look like if we each showed compassion not only towards those we love, but those we meet on a daily basis?
I thank God for the encounters I had in both circumstances. I am reminded that no matter my circumstance I am called to be compassionate. I think I have some work to do in this area, how about you?
Dear Lord, thank you for allowing me to encounter both of these circumstances. Thank you for the lesson that the hotel owner shared with me as he shared his concern for our stay and his employees. Thank you that I was allowed to see a man with little means helping another man by making his life a little easier by giving pots and pans away. I realize it’s not what I give or how much I give, but it’s all about giving from the heart. It’s about seeing a need and knowing I have the means to fulfill that need and taking the steps I need to take to do it. Help me to be a little more compassionate and open my eyes to the needs around me. Lead the way as I discern what I can do and how I can do it. Bless those who are both compassionate and those who receive. In all these things I pray Amen.