The Years of Compassion

12 Aug

Matthew 9:36:  “But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.”


The Lord has greatly used the compassion of others in my life to keep me from fainting sometimes.  I have had weeks where I have literally felt like the sheep who has no shepherd (maybe we all have weeks like that), but He has never left my side, nor ceased to send me people to remind me of that fact!   


Our son, our only child, was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome/high functioning autism at the age of four.  For many years, he had extreme sensory sensitivities to various noises, especially household appliances like the blender, the mixer, and the vacuum cleaner.  As I understood it, those sounds seemed as magnified in his head as though a siren had started up in the same room!


When I began homeschooling Joey, I was anxious to take him on field trips that kindergarten year.  In fact, as it turned out, our field trips were probably the only activity that engaged him completely that year.  Joey is a tactile/kinesthetic learner who learns by the sense of touch and by the location of his body in space.  He especially did that as a young child.  So showing him something was much more valuable back then than reading about something in a book.  Thankfully we live in one of the history capitals of the U.S. so field trips were dynamic!


We did many field trips by ourselves in the car that year (I had purchased a curriculum and tried to hit all the wickets in my first year of homeschooling—always the overachiever, ha ha!).


However, our very first field trip was with the homeschooling support group I had joined.  It was through a church and was made up of students in all grades.  The only thing we all had in common was our Christian faith.


That first trip was on a city bus from the church in Chesapeake to the bus depot in downtown Norfolk for a tour.  The ride took about half an hour there and half an hour back.  I remember the time quite precisely because . . . I had not realized how loud the roar of the bus’s diesel engine would be until we were already in our seats on the bus and it was too late to get off of the tour. 


Joey screamed in agony during every minute of the complete trip to Norfolk.  He had just barely calmed down on the tour at the bus depot before we had to board the bus for our return.  He screamed every minute of the ride back to the church.


I knew how loud his screams were and I didn’t want to inflict them on anyone, but I also knew how much he had to be suffering and unable to express what was wrong.  My heart was torn in shreds and I wanted to give up, then and there.


I had just met many of the other mothers in the group (some had been in Bible study with me previously) and most of them didn’t say anything at all as I dealt with Joey.  I found out later that that was because they didn’t know what to do and they were silently praying for Joey and for me . . .  A couple of the moms approached to ask whether there was anything they could do to help.  I told them no, except that their care and hugs were a balm to my soul. 


The Christ-like compassion I received in this group, on this first field trip and throughout the years, helped me stay the course as the mother of a special needs child.  God spoke love to me through these representatives of Jesus on earth.


Never discount the value of compassion as you reach out to those around you, saved or unsaved, especially when they are in dire circumstances and need an encouraging word or a hug, and a prayer.  You don’t need to have an answer to their issues, just a heart of love sent from the Father.  God bless you!



One Response to “The Years of Compassion”

  1. Jan Jones August 14, 2012 at 10:56 AM #

    Thanks for sharing, Mary! That was a very special group of caring families. Such fond memories of our time together!!

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