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Compassion


A couple nights ago Papa Bear and I were eating supper at a mom n' pop diner.  It's a small place, with maybe twenty tables, that serves the best chicken strips and steak fingers in town.  We were engaged in conversation about our day and I wasn't paying much attention to the other customers, but Papa Bear was. I am ever oblivious to my surroundings, he is always observant and aware.

Growing quiet, he leaned in and said, "There's a guy and girl over at that table that are eating only lemons. They came in and got some lemon slices from by the iced tea dispenser, placed them on a napkin and are sitting at the table eating them. They didn't go to the counter to place an order."  

Before long he noted that they had returned to place a few more slices of lemon on a napkin and take them back to their  table to eat.  Curious as to who would dine on lemons, I turned around to spot the saddest looking young couple I've ever seen - in their late teens or early twenties, and both very gaunt, though not your typical grungy street people.  They didn't appear to be strung-out, as is so often the case.  They just looked very tired, sad, and hungry. 

I went to use the restroom as we were getting ready to leave, and Papa Bear reported that they had gone up to the counter and requested some soda crackers and were given a few.  What struck me most, was that they were sitting here in this small cafe surrounded by people eating dinner, and yet they made no attempt to beg for food or money; they kept their eyes on their own table and each other. 

Reaching into his wallet, Papa Bear walked over to their table asked quietly, "If I give you this money, will you please buy yourselves something to eat?"

"Yes, sir!" answered the young man respectfully, and then added "God bless you."  The girl with him started to cry. 

We left then, we didn't wait to see if they placed an order, though I suspect they probably did. It was obvious that they were starving, and it broke our hearts.  I am a believer that it is the intent that matters,  Papa Bear is blessed for giving, what the recipient does with it from there is on them.  He chose not to embarass them by taking them up to the counter to order, or place an order on their behalf.

This is one of the many things I love about my Papa Bear, he is compassionate.  They could have been your children sitting there, they could have been mine.  Whatever their story, it was the right thing to do.  Papa Bear can always be counted on to do the right thing.

18 comments:

  1. It really was the right thing to do - good on him.

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    1. It is always better to act than to do nothing. Papa Bear is the best of the best!

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  2. That was the right thing to do. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. He handled it just right Cheree, I found myself wondering if anyone else had even noticed.

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  3. That made me cry. My father was the same way. Always aware of people around him, always compassionate and always trying to maintain the dignity of those less fortunate than he. Wonderful example and lesson to us all . . . your Papa Bear and my father :)

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    1. It was sweet, Judy, this is the kind of man I am so grateful to have in my life! If we could clone your father and my Papa Bear and sell copies, we could be wealthy woman! :-)

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    2. True, but following the example of our beloved papa bear and father, we wouldn't sell copies, we would GIVE them away :)

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    3. You are so right Judy, I have often thought about women I know who have had terrible relationship experiences, like me, and thought how I would love to be able to put someone like Papa Bear in their lives! I would gladly give copies away! :-)

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  4. Some times people are very good at scamming for money. I have been fooled many times. These two may have been putting on an act...They may have been starving. Either way why take a chance...you did the right thing.

    Personally I think they were probably starving!

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    1. This is true Joe, and it is easy to be taken in, especially by those who are practiced in the art of panhandling. But these two weren't asking anyone for anything, and weren't making a big show of their pitiful state to attract attention. We could have been taken in, but we weren't judging. Mother Teresa said that if you spend time judging people you will have no time to love them. Compassion is a way of life. If my children or grandchildren should ever find themselves in that situation someday, I hope to God someone would offer them food. Everybody is somebody's child! :-)

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    2. And I would hate to be standing in front of the Savior someday and have Him ask me why, when He was in need, did I pass Him by??

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    3. Whenever a situation like this arises, the first thing I think of is being taught to see Jesus in the face of each person I encounter. It changes your whole perspective on what caring means!

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  5. This was so touching. I'm glad you and John were given the opportunity to help this couple.

    Thank you so much for your reply Josie. It meant a lot!

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    1. I'm glad we were able to do that too, hopefully it at least gave them full bellies and something to smile about for one night. I was happy to see you reappearing in blogland, Cheryl!

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  6. I loved this. It is so wonderful that Papa Bear took the time to reach out to that couple. I bet they will never forget it. A little gesture for him and a big comfort for the couple. God Bless.

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    1. It made me feel good too Lena. For sure it didn't solve all their problems, but knowing that someone took the time to care can make all the difference when times are hard. I was very proud of Papa Bear!

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Your comments are always appreciated... they make me smile! :-)