Sunday, January 13, 2008

The Story of Compassion

I clutched my jacket tightly as I went down the jeep. It was a cold day and the wind was blowing the strands of hair off my face making it hard to see where I was going.

As I entered the San Francisco church just like what I did every morning before going to work, I was momentarily taken aback with the sight of a man dressed in a filthy ragged clothes lying on a pavement still wet from the previous night's rain. He had that blank expression on his face as if his mind were in another world.

My hands suddenly became clammy. My heart was filled with that unexplainable sadness. Before I knew it, my eyes were teary- eyed. More than the pity was that profound feeling of compassion.

It was a very depressing sight. How could a person like him survived that chilly morning on a wet pavement? I had my jacket on but the cold seeped through my body. How much more to him?

It was also apparent with his very thin body that he had not eaten for days. I delved into my bag and looked for the sandwich I made early that morning. I used to have something to eat with me because break time means working in front of the computer so no time really to go to the canteen for snacks. I also included a wad of bill when I gave the food to him. He didn't ask for it but I knew I needed to do it.

As I knelt down inside the church, tears brimmed my eyes as I remembered the image of the man. Why is it there are less fortunate people like him? Was it a matter of choice or by fate?

It was not my habit really to give money or tolerate beggars on the street but that situation was just different. Something was touched deep in the core of my heart.

I have my own share to make and I owe it to people like that man in a grimy clothes one cold day. Someday...


  1. Compassion is such a necessity these days. There are so many people struggling. Beautifully written. You may have saved that man. God bless

  2. Beautiful story! It's so important to give back and be open to serving the less fortunate.

    1. Thank you. It's a very painful situation to see.

  3. This past holiday season, I felt very compelled to give back in several different ways. The gift trees at the mall, a canned food drive through the post office, and then through St. Vincent DePaul as well. When I have the ability to give back, I feel it is my responsibility to do so. Everybody has struggled at times.

  4. Truly a story of compassion.Loved it.

  5. Thank you for seeing him. I find it impossible not to see the street people who are asking for money or sleeping on a warming grate in the middle of Toronto’s extreme cold. Whenever I can, I’ll give someone two dollars, five dollars, maybe even $20. And then I look at the streams of people who walk by without awareness. And my heart breaks.

  6. As someone who lives in NYC, I am constantly around homeless people. If I am being honest, as terrible as this sounds, sometimes they sink into the background. I see a lot of the same faces in the same spots day in and day out, and it becomes easy to tune them out. But then there are times when they disappear, and I am not quite sure where they do. I hope that they are okay.


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