It was a cold Saturday on the north side of Chicago. I was sitting with one of my bus workers at a KFC on the corner of California and Division eating my lunch. As I was eating, a little boy walked in with his grandmother. They sat down in a booth across from where I was eating. The little boy began to ask his grandmother if they could get something to eat. She told him that they only had enough money to pay for the bus on which they were waiting. My bus route was in a poor area, many people did not even own a car. During the winter months, people would wait for their bus inside of the restaurant to keep warm. As I listened to the little boy, I heard him tell his grandmother that he had not eaten anything that day. My heart was touched as I heard the boy’s grandmother tell him that she wished that she could buy him something, but she simply did not have the money. I had six dollars in my pocket, which I had planned on using to buy lunch on Sunday. I could not bear the thought of the little boy going hungry, when I knew I would be fine if I missed a meal. I knew I had to do something. The bus worker and I finished our meals and threw our trash away. I went up to the woman at the register and told her that I wanted to buy the little boy by the window a meal. I asked her to wait to tell his grandmother until I left the restaurant. I walked across the street and started walking down the block. I will never forget hearing the voice of that little boy as he yelled across the street, “Hey, mister, thank you for the meal.” I didn’t have a problem keeping warm that Saturday. I felt about a foot taller, as I visited the kids on my bus route.
Compassion is a trait that Jesus tried to instill in His followers. In Luke 10:30-36, Jesus tells the story of the Samaritan who had compassion who had been beaten and robbed. In this story, the Samaritan has compassion on a man whom he did not know. He takes care of his wounds and puts him in an inn, which would be like a hotel. He pays for the wounded man’s room and told the innkeeper, that when he returned he would pay any extra expenses. God puts people in our lives like the man who was beaten, who need compassion. What will we do when God gives us an opportunity to show compassion to others? God uses these opportunities to help us, I believe, just as much if not more than the people that we help. Are you looking for an opportunity to show others compassion?