One character trait that I've prayed for many times is compassion. I admit I'm not a compassionate person. If you tell me your sad story with tears streaming down your cheeks, I probably won't cry with you. I will most likely just listen, hold your hand if you'd like, and give sound advise if requested. For some people that's more than enough; for others I come across as cold and a bit heartless. It isn't my intention. I'm like my mom - a very matter-of-fact type of person who's always looking at things on the practical side rather than the emotional side. I know God made me that way, but I also ask Him to teach me ways that I can show compassion to others. Once again, He delivered.
My oldest son has a friend from high school that's going through a rough period in his life (as many are these days). He's 23 years old, his parents died when he was young, and his adoptive parents moved some years ago to Peru, leaving him with no family here. He lost his job some time ago and has been trying to find work like over 10% of Floridians. Thankfully it looks like he'll start working tomorrow. In the meantime, however, due to circumstances out of his control, he was kicked out of the place where he was living, and had no place to stay till the weekend. In desperation he called my son and asked if we would let him stay with us till his new place was ready.
Now, my husband is currently out of town, and bringing a young man into my home when my husband isn't here makes me a bit uncomfortable. Not that this young man has ever behaved in any way that troubles me; he's a quiet, respectful young man who looks very sad most of the time. Still, it was a concern that I needed to pray about. I left it in God's hands: I told my son if his friend found no other place to stay he could come to our house. My son told me he'd tried to find another place and was considering a homeless shelter. Our home was his last resort. I was pained in my heart to think this young man, an orphan with no family, would have to stay in a place with alcoholics, drug addicts, and who knows what else because no one would extend a helping hand. God impressed upon me that this was my opportunity to show compassion, and to speak to someone about His mercy and grace. So I agreed to let him stay with us. He was so grateful, and he thanked me with tears in his eyes. Nope, I didn't cry. I told him that strength comes from difficult situations, that living through this would teach him to have compassion for others, and that God is trying to get his attention. It gave him something to think about. Now I have someone to lift up in prayer each day and night as I learn to help others in need.
So, that's what I'm thankful for today. I'm thankful for the opportunity to help someone, to share Christ with someone, especially someone who is an orphan. There really is more joy in giving than in receiving.Wanna join in? Click on over to Grace Alone. God bless.