Erin went to work with her dad not long ago. A lot of kids do that. But Erin had to travel to India, where her dad was working with the Christian relief organization he had founded.
Erin spent a week in India. She visited a hospital children's ward, where she blew bubbles, made balloon animals, and sang nursery rhymes. She prayed with a teenage girl who had leprosy. She spent hours folding laundry at the Home of the Destitute and Dying. She spoon-fed an elderly blind woman and soon realized that the woman wanted love more than food. So Erin set down the spoon and spent the rest of the afternoon cradling the woman's gray head in her arms.
After a week of depressing sights and backbreaking work, how do you think Erin felt? Do you think she said, "Get me outta here"? Do you think she said, "I can't wait to scarf down a Big Mac and fries"? Do you think she said, "I'm tired; I just wanna veg out in front of the TV"?
She didn't say any of those things. Instead, Erin's response to a week spent showing compassion and working hard among the poor and sick was: "It was cool!"
Cool? Folding laundry is cool? Spoon-feeding a blind woman is cool? Visiting sick and abandoned children is cool?
Yup! It is cool, because showing compassion to others can be fun. Showing compassion isn't just good for the other person-it's good for you, too. Showing compassion to others can be enjoyable, even in the smelliest and grossest situations.
That's one of the many ways God rewards those who are compassionate. He gives us joy, not in spite of our acts of compassion, but because of them! When you show compassion to a person, you're making two people happy-and one of them is you.
REFLECT: You don't have to go to India to show compassion to someone else. Think of three or four people who you think may be sad or hurting right now. Then come up with ways that you might be able to show love and compassion to those people.
PRAY: "Lord, I want to please you by being a compassionate person. I want to help others and experience how much fun being compassionate can be. Help me to show compassion to others in the ways I listed above."