COMPASSION CAN BE BEAUTIFUL!
Bible Reading of the Day: Read Romans 15:1-3.
Verse of the Day: “Each one of us needs to look after the good of the people around us, asking ourselves, ‘How can I help?’” (Romans 15:2, The Message).
Ronita’s Sunday school class was interrupted by the arrival of a new student, who was escorted in by the Sunday school superintendent.
Like everyone else in the class, Ronita noticed that the new boy had only one arm; his left arm was missing. Nobody said anything as the boy sat in the seat to Ronita’s right. Ronita smiled at the newcomer, as the teacher continued the Bible story she was telling.
After a few minutes, the class seemed to return to normal. The teacher had seemed nervous at first, but when everyone acted normally instead of staring at the boy or talking about him, she seemed to relax.
Finally, the teacher looked at the clock on the side wall. “Oh my,” she said, “it’s time to dismiss.” She closed her book and smiled at her students. “Thank you for listening so well,” she said. She clapped her hands together. “Now, let’s do our closing exercise together, shall we?”
Ronita’s mouth suddenly dropped open as she watched the teacher begin the ceremony they used every week at the end of class.
“Let’s make our churches,” the teacher said, clasping her hands together and extending her index fingers straight up to form a steeple. “Here’s the church and here’s the steeple,” she started, and then stopped abruptly, realizing what she had done. She had forgotten all about the new boy who had only one arm! Her face flushed red as she realized that her actions had made things very awkward and difficult for the newcomer.
Suddenly, however, Ronita had an idea. She reached her left hand across her body and placed it in front of the new boy. “Here,” she said cheerfully. “We can make our church together!”
The boy blinked at Ronita for a moment, then smiled. He lifted his only hand, his right hand, and intertwined his fingers with the fingers of Ronita’s left hand. Together they extended their index fingers into the shape of a steeple and joined the teacher’s voice to complete the rhyme: “Here’s the church and here’s the steeple. Open the doors and see all the people.”
The teacher smiled at Ronita and the new boy. The Sunday school lesson had never been more beautiful or more meaningful.
TO DO: Join hands with the person next to you to form a church and steeple and recite the rhyme, “Here’s the church, and here’s the steeple. Open the doors and see all the people.”
TO PRAY: “Lord, as people of compassion, help us to see beyond a person’s looks and connect with his or her heart instead.”