The woman’s world had just fallen apart. Her son, who was deathly allergic to bee stings, had been doing lawn work when he came upon a nest of ground bees. He never even made it to the house for his Epi-pen.
While the woman and her family grieved over his death, the local Jehovah’s Witnesses heard of the tragedy and sent meals to her home, reaching out lovingly with genuine concern.
This shocked the woman. She was Catholic, and her church made no such efforts. Before long, she had joined the Jehovah’s Witnesses and was going door to door with them, sharing her story.
The Message of Compassion
I’m not a Jehovah’s Witness, nor do I ever intend to be, but when I heard this story about a woman in my own community, it resonated deeply with me.
Some years ago, my family decided to begin celebrating the Jewish feast of Passover—not simply the day of the feast, but also the entire week. This meant a full 7 days of eating absolutely no pork products (like pepperoni or sausage) or leaven (like yeast or baking soda).
When I first joined my high school cross-country running team, I had a bad habit of looking at my feet. Partially, this was due to the fact that the school cross-country course included a narrow path that meandered through the forest, snaring runners with roots and puddles and the occasional gopher-hole. With so many obstacles, how could Inot watch where I was going?
But looking at my feet had an unintended consequence: It slowed me down. There was no way to race effectively and watch my step at the same time. Necessity forced me to make a choice: either accept the fact that I may trip, or never discover my true speed.
Have you ever missed an opportunity or accidentally messed up, and sighed, “Well, it must not have been the Lord’s will for me to accomplish such-and-such”? I know that I have. But is this a Biblical idea?
I believe it is not.
When I was a young girl, everything that an older girl did (“older” being about 13 and up) was fascinating to me. I wanted to be just like her. I followed her around and constantly demanded attention: “Can I tell you a story? Hey, are you going to the fair on Saturday, like us? Watch me turn a cartwheel!” When she did pay attention to me, I was ecstatic. She liked me! She found me interesting!
I have very fond memories of the “older girls” of my childhood. I still respect and love the woman who played pretend with me and my siblings, the teenager who dressed up dolls for hours with us, and the young lady who enraptured me with tales about race horses and captured stars and evil witches. Those women, in their own small way, changed my life.
None of my life has gone the way it was "supposed to go," but I don't love my life any less because of the hardships and new directions. I see so much unexpected good in it, and I want others to see the good in theirs.