The Twig

Monday, April 24, 2017

The orthopedic surgeon’s office is a buzzing place. There are elderly people in wheelchairs. There are children of different ages with casts in slings running around. There are entire families that come to support one solitary child and there’s me, all alone with my son.
I often feel tempted to feel sorry for myself. That was until I noticed a woman with twin babies looking frazzled. My son and I found a sit next to her and I kept observing her. One twin was wiggling in her lap (they seem to be 4 months) the other one was happy in the car seat. My heart felt that familiar twig of compassion because I have had that frazzled look in my face due to the estate of my heart. I make conversation.
“Are these your first kids or do you have more?” I ask with a smile.
“No, these are my first kids,” she politely answers.
“You’re a super mom! Great job handling two all by yourself!” She replies,
“My caretaker called me at the last minute and told me she couldn’t come, so here I am by myself.” I still feel her pain but a little deeper. No one likes those last minutes let downs. I offer help.
“If you need a hand, any mom would help you. I know I certainly would.” She says thank you as she returns to caring for the wiggly baby in her lap. Three minutes later she gives me the firm nod. I quickly sanitize my hands and I get baby number two out of her car seat. She started to feel unhappy and a simple change of position totally satisfied her.
I got to help super mom better not because I’m better, but because of that twig of compassion in my heart. I learned from my family that compassion should move me to action and those actions are a blessing to others.

Have you ever felt a twig of compassion in your heart? Don’t ignore it my friend.

I have learned that we all have chances to show compassion to others. We just have to be attentive to that twigy feeling in our heart.

I always wondered how my grandmothers and my mother always embraced others as their own. It was because of the twig of compassion. My mother had a chance to spend 6 hours with a woman my age who is a missionary and who told her “I miss my mother so much, would you be my mom?” to which she promptly responded “yes my daughter.” Those 6 hours were precious and refreshing for both my mother and the young missionary. That act of compassion and mutual Christian love made a mark in my life. I learned that a mother of 5 children and more than a dozen grandchildren still has time and capacity to extend her arm to embrace another child.

During a recent field trip I learned that one of my daughter’s classmates lost her mom in the Fall. My heart ached big time. I know I can’t save her world and I perceived she was in good care with family but for that field trip, I extended my arm to embrace another child.

I know you wonder if you have time. Yes you do. I know you wonder if you have the capacity. Yes you do. God is not asking you to starve your family emotionally. I do believe He is expecting that like Jesus, your heart is moved with compassion and that as a response, you extend your arm to embrace another.

Who can you embrace this week? Open your heart and wait for that twig in your heart.