C: Compassionate Charlotte. I Peter 3:8–“Finally, all of you live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble.”
Merriam-Webster Dictionary’s definition of the word compassionate:
- Having or showing compassion
- Granted to another due to distressing circumstances affecting an individual
Phrases used for compassion:
- Compassionate friend
- Compassionate smile
- Compassionate leave of absence
- Showed compassion (i.e. kindness, caring, and willingness to help others)
Compassionate Charlotte’s Story:
“Charlotte lived in a quiet neighborhood and knew her neighbors quite well. They had a Neighborhood Watch, yard sales, bake sales, holiday events, and numerous get togethers throughout the year. The neighborhood was always buzzing with the laughter of children playing together in the nearby park.
She knew the children by name, and they would often stop by while she was working in her garden and flowerbeds.
On one such occasion, she noticed that two of the children were not with the normal group. Charlotte asked one of the children where Ken and Judy were on this particular day. One of them said that they had not seen them for almost a week. Charlotte immediately wondered if the children were sick so she decided to stop by their house and check on them.
When her neighbor answered her door, Charlotte noticed that she had been crying but did not want to pry as to why. The neighbor proceeded to tell Charlotte that her husband’s company had cut back on employees and her husband had been laid off as well. They had been struggling to pay bills and put food on the table for the past two weeks.
Stunned, Charlotte asked if there was anything that the neighborhood could do for them. Shyly, the neighbor declined but thanked Charlotte for asking. Charlotte decided until she could think of a plan to help them, she immediately purchased some groceries and left them on the neighbor’s doorstep. Her neighbor opened the door, saw Charlotte, and then waved with a heartfelt gesture.
Since Charlotte was in charge of the Neighborhood Watch program, she decided that the entire neighborhood should get together and have a huge all-family yard sale, with the proceeds going to this family in need. She decided to contact all the neighbors and tell them about her idea. They immediately agreed to participate and decided on the date to have the yard sale.
Charlotte immediately made up flyers and began posting them around the neighborhood and in the downtown area. The response was overwhelming. She received several donations and everyone got busy sorting through things they wanted to donate.
The day of the event, they blocked off the street and people began arriving as early as 8 a.m. Food and drinks were set up under the pavilion and they ended up selling almost everything they had collected. At the end of the day when Charlotte and her friends tallied up the money, they had raised over $3,000 at the yard sale.
Charlotte and two of her neighbors went to Ken and Judy’s home and handed the money to their mother. She and her family had no idea that the yard sale and money they raised was for them. With tears in her eyes, she graciously thanked everyone for their hard work and said that the money would help them through this time until her husband began his new job next week.
As Charlotte and her neighbors walked back to their homes, they felt thankful that they had been able to help out a neighbor who was struggling and were praising God that her husband had found another job so quickly.”
In the Book of Matthew, Jesus uses a number of parables/stories to help his disciples understand various lessons that He wants them to learn. One such story is about the separation of the Sheep (right) and the Goats (left) which reiterates the meaning of compassion towards one another.
Matthew 25:35-36 says, “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothing and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.” Matthew 25:40 says, “The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'”
For those who did not do these things, Matthew 25:41 says, “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.'” Matthew 25:46, “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”
Charlotte showed the compassion for a neighbor in need and did her part with the help of her other neighbors to provide a financial need. When we bless someone else through our actions, God looks down and says, “Well done thou good and faithful/compassionate servant. I am well pleased.”
May we continue to show compassion and give help to those in need as God would have us to do.