I met a lady in the gym change room this morning.
She started a conversation with the usual comments about the weather.
“It’s freezing out there, huh?
I politely replied with, “Yah, when it gets this cold, I often think of the homeless and wonder how they find shelter.” I immediately thought of my time in downtown Toronto in early December when I was so disturbed by seeing the homeless and felt so helpless.
I was shocked when the women came back with, “Well, they do it to themselves, you know. “
Whoa. THAT’S certainly black and white thinking.
What I wanted to say to this woman were the words of Gandhi — “It is better to have a heart without words than words without a heart” — but I had never met this woman before. I decided that my silence would be more powerful than my words.
So, I kept quiet . . . but I felt angry.
There’s a story behind every person and if we are to make a slice of difference in this world, compassion is not a luxury — it’s a necessity. There is nothing black and white about homelessness. Who are we to judge what we don’t understand? Mother Teresa was spot on when she said, “If you judge people, you have no time to love them.”
People often forget that compassion is free. It often takes us out of our comfort zones but we become more emotionally and spiritually alive when we give of ourselves . . . and it will never look or sound like judgment.
I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened. Ephesians 1.18a