A Compassionate Heart

By Vanessa Fortenberry heart

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. ~ Colossians 3:12 (NIV)

Two months ago my ex-daughter-in-law, Trina, who is more like a daughter to me, suffered a massive stroke. Giving gratitude to God, Trina survived. The three and a half weeks she lay in intensive care was trying, to say the least. However, the kindhearted spirit of people I met in the hospital lightened my load. My appreciation goes out to the caring and skilled doctors, nurses, and aides who treated her with the touch of angelic hands to the waiting room attendants who never failed to ask about Trina’s condition each day as we visited. One could not overlook the hospital workers who passed by daily to wave at Trina and who enlisted an encouraging word if they caught me in the lobby or cafeteria of the hospital.

Not to forget, the hospital post office employee who rummaged through papers to find me an envelope when I had promised to mail an important document for a friend. Last, but not least, to the senior services manager who took the time from her busy day to lend an uplifting message when I visited her office by mistake. The generosity, prayers, and well wishes of so many more unnamed strangers lifted my spirit. I believe these same acts of kindness nurtured Trina’s fortitude to survive.

While the thoughtfulness of these wonderful people touched my heart and will forever stay rooted in my memory, I found that the selflessness I exhibited during this time gave me the utmost satisfaction. When a loved one is fighting for their life or struggling with other health issues, one can easily lose touch with everything going on around them. However, I found it a blessing to extend my charity to others in need.

While I strived to maintain my energy from day-to-day, I made a mental note to follow-up with a friend whose sister had surgery. Hungry and tired, I went to my sister friend’s home the afternoon she received notice of her brother’s death. Moreover, I could not dismiss the man monitoring the hospital parking lot who wiped the sweat from his face countless of times while I waited in my air-conditioned car to gain entrance into the lot. After parking, I walked to the hospital building, bought a bottle of water, walked back in the hot sun, and gave the man the cold bottled water. The smile on his face was priceless!

When others extend their love and generosity to us, it makes us feel good; but when we offer our love to others, it makes our heart swell with joy. Tender your compassionate heart to delight someone today, for God is the Father of compassion and comfort, which imparts in us a caring spirit to comfort others (Corinthians 1:3-4).

I welcome your “compassionate heart” stories!

Vanessa FortenberryAn inspirational author and speaker, Vanessa Fortenberry penned the children’s verse story, Mama, I Want to See God. Vanessa is also a contributor to the book, Relief Notes: Encouraging Letters for Tough Times written by the Christian Authors Guild. She also writes, “Connecting Readers to the Word,” a monthly e-newsletter. Vanessa savors the moments she spends with her family and friends. She is most relaxed when in her kitchen baking delicious desserts for her loved ones. You can visit her at www.vanessafortenberry.com, Twitter, or Facebook.

Mama, I Want to See GodCover

Wanting to connect more with God, a child asks his mother countless questions in this rhyming verse book. In answer, the mother’s tender and patient responses model God’s love. At the story’s end, Mother has answered all of the questions, allowing the child a true connection with God.

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