Touched By A Father’s COMPASSION
It was a very hot summer day when the heat index had been 105 - 115 degrees that we were invited to meet some friends for supper at a local restaurant. After we had finished eating, we went out onto the restaurant patio where there was a stage and an area for dancing. As the band began to set up, we found a table and sat down enjoying the company and conversation with our friends!
A light breeze had picked up and it was a bit cooler than when we had first arrived, making for a warm but nice summer evening!
About half way into the first set of the band playing, I noticed a man out on the dance floor with a pretty little girl who was around ten years old, with long blonde hair pulled up in a ponytail! It didn’t take long to recognize that she was both physically and mentally challenged.
I watched as he held her carefully over his left shoulder while her feet dangled half-way down his legs. He sang to her as he danced all around with her! She didn’t respond to him because she was preoccupied with a bright, multi-colored slinky and didn't seem to be aware of her surroundings.
After the song was over, I watched as he walked over to a customized wheelchair, where he very gently and carefully put her into the seat, made sure she was comfortable and then he securely fastened her in. He patted her on the leg as he sat down beside her, clapping his hands and enjoying the music while she continued to play with her slinky.
It was precious and sweet to watch what I assumed to be a dad and daughter relationship!
I would look their direction every now and then. At one point, I saw him pull a hairbrush from a bag that was fastened to the wheelchair handle. He began to gently brush her sweat-drenched hair as he swooped her bangs to the right side of her face to keep them out of her eyes, and put a barrett in it. He put the hairbrush away and once again sat down beside her, patting her leg, clapping and singing with the band.
It wasn’t long before he carefully scooped her up out of the wheelchair again! He took her in his arms and danced her all around while he sang to her! She continued to play with her multi-colored slinky, unaware of anything else. He did this many times! The last time that I looked over, they were gone! I didn’t even see them leave!
As I pondered this beautiful scenario, I asked the Lord about why this moved me so deeply. I thought I have no idea how long it took or what challenges this dad endured to get her ready to go out. I don’t know their story. But, this is what I witnessed as he took care of her:
-This father had no shame in his daughter’s imperfections - he just loved her and wanted her to know it AND feel it!
-He did what he could do to make her feel beautiful, cherished, and valued
-It didn’t matter to him what anyone else thought of either one of them
-His strength held her close and she didn’t fight him
-He sang to/over her and she didn’t plug her ears
-He gently placed her back in her wheelchair and secured her in it, and she didn’t stiffen or fight him
-She showed complete trust in him
-She never stopped playing with her slinky and he never stopped paying attention to her
-She didn’t complain about anything and neither did he
To me, it was a beautiful picture of how Father loves us, even when we are preoccupied or focused on something other than Him. He loves us anyway, showing us both His glory and all of His goodness in His compassion! Here is what I mean:
-He provides for our needs without our acknowledgement, asking, or gratitude
-He is not ashamed or embarrassed by our obvious imperfections
-He loves to sing over us and hold us close so that we may know that we are secure in His loving arms
-He lovingly affirms our value and beauty in His eyes, no matter what anyone else says or thinks
-He gently puts us in places of security and comfort so that we would know His protection over us
-He delights in our relationship even when we don’t
-Nothing we say, think, or do negates who He is or how He loves us
God impressed on me that His compassion, mercy and tender affection for me aren’t based on my merit or performance but are rooted in His love for His creation and His children. This is a priceless truth and a precious gift from our Heavenly Father to us!
To settle this into our lives, it helps to understand what compassion really is according to God’s Word. It is a verb ( an action word) and means:
-Cherishing and soothing:
-In a gentle emotion of the mind;
-To behold with tenderest affection to be compassionate-used of the love of parents for their children and the compassion of God towards men;
-To love, love deeply, have mercy, be compassionate, have tender affection, have compassion
I can't even imagine a world without the powerful effect of compassion that has been exercised! It leads us to solutions for problems, brings help for those who have needs, and advances causes for the greater good of all!
Barriers that are met with acts of pure-hearted compassion offer hope, build better character in people and more loving communities... but God already knew that!
I was both encouraged and, blessed to have witnessed this lived out and deeply touched by this father’s compassion for his daughter! I felt it in my own spirit!
Maybe you have witnessed COMPASSION, or been the giver or recipient of someone showing you COMPASSION that has touched your heart is some way!
Feel free to share it in this post or email me your story at:
COMPASSION COMES FROM THE HEART OF GOD-
Let's pass it on!