When she shuffled into the subway, I wanted to look away. She was old, and she had only ragged clothes to protect her from the bitter Chicago winter wind. She took the nearest seat, her shoulders hunched against the cold and her eyes down. Her white, cracked, bony hands clutched a worn shawl tightly around her. I watched with wonder and pity.
At the next stop, an energetic young man strode confidently onto the train, his cheeks red with health. His clothes were sharp, his hair immaculate, his step graceful. He too saw the woman’s silent misery. Three stops later, as the train slowed, he glided by her to the other door and disappeared into the tunnel.
On her lap lay his brown leather gloves.
I don’t know if he was a believer in Christ or not. But I do know this: He saw her need and responded with compassion—while I just sat there. It never occurred to me to give her my gloves. That young man showed compassion in a way I’ll never forget. It reminded me of the kind of compassion that moved Jesus to heal two blind men near Jericho (Mt. 20:34), and ultimately, to give His own life on the cross.
Let’s follow our Lord’s example by reaching out and giving hope to people in need.
Thinking It Over
Why are we often reluctant to show compassion?
We can't help everyone, but whom can we help?
How can we develop greater compassion?
True compassion is love in action.