The Action of Compassion

"Salama!" She looked up, surprised that a foreigner was speaking her heart language. She was a shop keeper, peddling goods to foreigners. No one had ever stopped just to talk with her. It was on that day that she knew there was something different about this foreigner who wanted more than a colorful basket.

Choosing to stay that first time I sat down with her was a big deal. I was nervous, and anything but fluent in her language. However, I knew the Lord was telling me to sit on that rickety wooden bench. Sitting there in the sun, trying to piece together the vocabulary that I recognized, I wondered what I was doing. Surely, this is not what missions looks like.

Looking back, on that day, something changed. She became real to me; not someone I saw in passing or prayed for off a prayer card. I heard stories of her three girls and the school they attended. She talked about her husband and how he had not accepted the Truth in his heart. My heart broke as she told me that she had learned to read but could not afford a Bible. I was introduced to compassion. For the first time it was not just a word, but an emotion that produced an action.

Almost three years have passed since that day. God has shown me how vital relationships are in loving and being the hands and feet of Christ. We are called to learn as followers of Christ—how can we learn if we are not talking, listening, sharing, and building relationships with others? Compassion is an action. It is a needed response around the globe but it is also needed across the street. Let's get up, say hello, and then decide to stay awhile.

Nickolee Roberts is a wife, momma, blogger, kindergarten teacher, and former international missionary, saved by His grace and believing that God will be glorified.​

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