Fun and Compassion
COMPASSION CAN BE FUN!
Bible Reading of the Day: Read Acts 3:1-11.
Verse of the Day: “When darkness overtakes the godly, light will come bursting in. They are generous, compassionate, and righteous” (Psalm 112:4).
Bethany was the first to see the man. She and her brother Ben had just walked out of the department store with their father. Sitting on the sidewalk was a whiskered old man in stained clothing. An upturned hat sat beside him on the pavement, and a handwritten cardboard sign pleaded with passersby to “Help the Homeless.”
Ben stiffened and Bethany swerved behind Dad. To their surprise, however, Dad stopped. He crouched down and extended his hand toward the man.
The man looked suspicious at first, then slowly reached out and shook the hand Dad had offered him. Dad introduced himself and his children by name, then said, “We’re just about to catch a quick lunch at the cafe down the street. We’d be happy to have you join us.”
The man looked from Dad to Bethany, then to Ben and back to Dad again.
“Sure,” he answered with a shrug. “Why not?”
Dad smiled, and helped the man to his feet. The four of them walked to the cafe. As they ate, Dad drew the man into a conversation about his life. The man confessed to struggling with an alcohol problem and warned Ben and Bethany never to start drinking. “No good ever came of it for me,” he said.
When they finished eating, Dad paid for their meal. They paused in front of the little cafe to say good-bye to the man. He shook Dad’s hand, thanked him for the meal, and smiled at Bethany and Ben as he turned to walk back to his corner.
“That was really cool, Dad,” Ben said excitedly. “He was a nice man.”
“I think he liked you and Bethany too,” Dad said.
“It was so cool hearing about all the places he lived,” Bethany said. She shook her head in amazement. “He used to live in—what was that one place he said he lived in?”
“Argentina,” Ben answered.
“Hey, Dad,” Ben said. “Can we take him out to lunch next time we come downtown?”
Dad nodded. “We can try,” he said, then added, “Why?”
Ben cocked his head. “I don’t know,” he replied. “I just liked it.”
“Yeah,” Bethany agreed.
“It was fun.” Dad smiled. “I’m glad you think so,” he said.
TO DISCUSS: Do you think it was fun for Peter and John to heal the beggar at the temple? Why? Do you think it was fun for Bethany, Ben, and Dad to take the homeless man to lunch? Why? Have you ever had fun showing compassion? If so, tell about it.
TO PRAY: “May your joy, Lord, create a tidal wave of compassion within us.”