I was inspired to write something about a moment in my life where someone had shown me compassion. Every time I think of the word, compassion, this story is the first on my mind. And sometimes still leaves me in tears because the affect still means something to me.
When I was five years old, my mother worked as an art teacher at a private Christian school in Louisiana. Because she was a teacher, the tuition for me and my brother to attend was cut in half. Of course, we would go to school with my mom’s job. This was for about a year and a half.
My pre-school was not connected to the “actual” school. I had to ride a bus from the school to my pre-school every morning. My brother didn’t. He went to his classes, and I had to wait in the lunch room for one of my bus drivers to pick me up and walk me to my bus. I wasn’t the only kid who did this, there were lots of us. However, I remember being the one who always sat alone. All the other kids sat at other tables, together, as they waited. I never did. That’s just the way it was.
Then one day, out of the blue, a ninth grade girl walked up to me and said,”Hi, I’m Brittany. Whats your name?” ( Actually, I do not know if her name was Brittany, but I do remember her name beginning with a B. So I will just call her that ).
From that day on, Brittany was always at the same lunch table waiting for me every single morning I went to school. She talked with me, drew pictures with me, colored with me, and kept me company until my bus driver arrived to take me away. I remember enjoying her company very much. I felt like I had a friend, someone who wanted to be near me.
Then the day came that it ended.
On a normal morning of school, I arrived at my usual table. But Brittany was not there waiting on me. Instead, there was a pink letter in her place. I couldn’t read at age 5, so my mother read the letter to me. I do not remember the exact words, but I do remember the words on the pink letter were something like:
“Dear Erin, I am sorry that I can no longer sit with you. I had to switch classes and can not be at the table to meet you because of it. I will always be your friend. Brittany.”
Even at a young age, I understood. I did miss Brittany. And I do remember seeing her around school maybe twice after she left this pink letter for me. Then I never saw her again, or know what happened to her.
This is a small story to some, but it is big to me. And here is why:
I struggled very much to make friends growing up. During pre-school and kindergarten, was when I began to discover it. Other kids were not afraid to express that they didn’t like me. At such a young age I didn’t think much of it, until I got older…more like second and third grade. And the struggle to fit in went huge from there.
To make a long story short, Brittany’s memory remained with me, even more as I grew older. Brittany was in the ninth grade. That lunch room was full of kids of all ages, including hers. But for a time she took the morning hours and spend them with me: a 5 year old who did not make friends easily and often cried over it. I don’t know if she had a boyfriend, maybe she did. But she chose to give some of her time to me. Now as an adult who has had to walk through some very lonely trials but some very much needed pruning seasons to look more like Christ; even today I still sometimes struggle to have friends instead of acquaintances. This is a memory I will always cherish. But it gets even better:
I believe Brittany’s example to me at 5 years old is just one of many reflections of Jesus Christ.
I do not know if Brittany was a Christian or not, but what I do know is she shown me some compassion. And I bet that she never would have believed that I would remember it all these years later, and how it has affected me in a positive way; as well as inspired me to do the same.
Friends, you will never know one act of compassion that will change someone’s life. You have to ask God to open your spiritual eyes for you to see where the opportunity lays. And trust me, He will reveal it to you. You have the opportunity to be a part of something much bigger than what is in your world. There is a kingdom that cannot be shaken. And you have been called to be a vessel for that kingdom to give God glory. One of my most favorite verses in the Bible is this: “ But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” 1 Peter 2:9. I am motivated by this verse. I am chosen and I am called. There is nothing else greater than to really know in your heart that you’re wanted and you are meant to be used by God for His glory. It doesn’t matter if you are someone who has no friends or family of any kind: God’s Word says differently.
“ So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience,” Colossians 3:12. There is someone in your life, or will be eventually, who the Holy Spirit will stir inside your heart to reach out to and show compassion. The only thing that prevents that from happening is you. Are you willing to even give up something you enjoy more to reach out to someone outside your circle of friends and be a friend to? Are you willing to let go of pride and sin so your eyes can really see the world around you? Are you really being available for God to use you, where you’re at, in more powerful ways than you will ever know?
Brittany will never know the impact she made on my young life so many years ago. But I will never forget it. Be the one who another 5 year old will never forget in their lives too.
“so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God,” Colossians 1:10.