Traffic Jam


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GOD COMMANDS COMPASSION BECAUSE HE VALUES COMPASSION.

Bible Reading of the Day: Read Luke 10:30-37.

Verse of the Day: “Show mercy and compassion to one another” (Zechariah 7:9, NIV).

“This is a bad traffic jam, isn’t it, Dad?” Dale said.

Dad sighed and tapped his thumb on the steering wheel. “Yes, it is, Dale,” he answered. “And it’s going to make us late getting home.”

“Dad, look!” Dale pointed ahead, across two lanes of traffic. Dad looked where he was pointing. A woman stood behind her car, which apparently had broken down in the high-speed lane of the three-lane highway. She paced back and forth behind her car, her hand on her forehead, a worried look on her face.

“That’s why we’re not going anywhere!” Dale said, irritation surfacing in his voice. Other drivers honked or shouted at the woman as they passed by. Suddenly, Dad switched on his hazard lights and steered the car onto the shoulder.

“What are you doing?” Dale asked.

“Stay in the car,” Dad said. “I’ll be right back.”

Dad jumped out of the car and dodged through the creeping traffic to the woman’s car. Dale watched, fascinated, as his dad pointed to the woman’s car, then to the side of the road where Dale sat. The woman got behind the steering wheel of her car, and Dad pushed her car, inching it across the two lanes of traffic until it was parked in front of their car. Dale noticed that the woman was crying, but smiling. Dale saw her mouth form the words “thank you” as Dad jogged back to their car and got in.

“I’ll call the highway patrol at the next pay phone I can find,” he told his son as he started the car and steered it back into the traffic, which was flowing a little faster now.

Dale helped his dad find a pay phone at the first exit off the highway. As soon as Dad made the call, Dale had a question ready.

“Dad, why did you stop to help that lady when we were already going to be late?”

Dad smiled at his son’s question. He thought for a moment before answering. “You know what the story of the Good Samaritan teaches, don’t you?”

Dale nodded. “That it’s good to help people.”

“Yes,” Dad said, “and it shows us that God values compassion. We could have been like the priest in the story, or the other man, who passed by without helping. But it’s much better to show compassion when you have the chance.”

Dale thought about what his dad had done. “I’m glad we stopped,” he said, smiling. “That was fun!”

TO DO: Look for ways to share your compassion as a family. You might visit residents of a retirement home or cook and serve a meal to a busy family.

TO PRAY: “God, remind us today—and every day—that you value compassion. Help us to be kind and compassionate to those around us.”


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