Revisiting Compassion

*Originally posted July, 2008. It's worth the second read.



In our church the kids sit at the front during song service, closely watched over by their teachers. (I'm one of them.) After song service ends they're dismissed to Children's Church and mild chaos ensues as they try to race each other to the back of the church. Of course they can't do this very quickly knowing that both teachers and parents are watching, and the aisles aren't big enough to swarm down en masse. And in the far aisle sits a man in a wheel chair, taking up precious space. They are forced to go single file past him, which they do at breakneck tiptoe pace, ever mindful of who is ahead of them.

While I was teaching one week the kids asked why Micah stopped to shake the hand of the man in the wheelchair. We were learning about compassion, and I explained that we could all learn something from Micah. He may not have compassion for the man because of his disability, but rather Micah doesn't see the man as different. Micah stops to shake his hand because he's at Micah's level and it's the polite thing to do.

How often do any of us do that? How often do we look past someone's differences and see them as a normal person, on our own level?

The next week it took quite a while for the kids to make their way out of church. Every single one of the kids stopped to shake the hand of the man in the wheelchair. He beamed from ear to ear.

And Micah simply stood in line to wait his turn because that's what he does.

12 comments:

The Sports Mama said...

I loved this the first time I read it, and I love it even more now.

I adore your kids, and will always believe that they have the very best of parents!

Fishsticks and Fireflies said...

I am with The Sports Mama - I love this post the first time around, and it brought tears (again) to my eyes this time around as well. I love, love, love that my children are at the age where they see past physical imperfection and the differences that exist between us all and look at everyone as equals - I can only hope that I do a good enough job as a parent to help them hold onto that for as long as possible.

(Keri) Auburn Gal Always said...

Made me cry too. Your Micah is so cool. Tell him his fan in Alabama said so. ;)

Trannyhead said...

I remember this post the first time ... and it totally deserves a re-read. Micah is hawt.

CC said...

I just love this!!! They ALL are hawt.

Debbie in CA : ) said...

How sweet! Just the antidote to the reading of news and bloggy-depression of those stuck in a depressed mode as the winter drags on.

On this Saturday morning while my family sleeps in (all except for Matthew) I snuck away to visit you for a while. I had much catching up to do . . . all worthwhile and delightful reads.

Lately the blogdom has overwhelmed me -- too many to keep tabs on, too much I don't really want to know. Happily I come to see you, knowing I will receive a dose of REAL with a chaser of poignant or encouraging.

I know how hard IT can be at times . . . keep your eyes focused on the blessings and you will have the energy to keep trudging through the less-than-blessed.

Though my comments appear less frequently, know that my prayers remain steady and strong for you and your precious family.

Much Love,
Debbie

Michelle said...

Oh this is one of my favorite posts of yours... I love this one :) Micah is such a gem!

Krista said...

Everyone has something to to offer us if we just take the time to look. If you think someone has nothing to offer then you missed it.

HalfAsstic.com said...

Yes, I do remember this post. It's one of your very memorable ones. And it should be plaque form also, hanging in classrooms all over the nation. Er, make that world.
Micah is a remarkable young man.

pb&j in a bowl said...

I love this post. I reminds me that we are all in this world together and can all learn something from small children. Thanks

Karen said...

I love this post. One of my all time favorites.

Karen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.