Helen Keller

“Hey! You’re effervescent!”

I’d never heard that word in my life and hadn’t a clue what my new friend meant. I knew by his big smile it was a good thing, but I had to ask.

“Bubbly” he replied. “You’re bubbly.”  Kindness-cat-and-bird

I didn’t know how to respond or what to say. I was 22 years old and I could not remember when anyone had touched my heart as profoundly before. I walked away with a new feeling in my heart, holding my head slightly higher.

Such a small token, yet at the time it meant a lifeline for me. A lifeline to feeling that I had value as a human being. A lifeline to thinking good things about myself. A lifeline to learn how to love and accept others.

As a child, the people in my world did not compliment children or validate the good they saw in them. The very opposite occurred.

“One of the greatest influences a person can have in this world is to influence a child. Children’s beliefs and self-worth are shaped early in their lives. Everyone… has the power to increase a child’s confidence in himself or herself and to increase a child’s faith in Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ through the words they speak.”
—Rosemary M. Wixom

For a very long time after my friend expressed this, years even, whenever I was down about myself (and there was too much of that-the refrains of childhood in my mind that had made me feel small, unacceptable or unintelligent) I’d remember his words and I’d think. “But I am effervescent”. And my heart would become a touch more tender.

A story,  The Visitor   shows that even children can touch another’s heart for good and with compassion and kindness. Here is part of it:

“Mike had long, black hair and a beard. His complexion was dark and pleasant. I don’t remember when I invited him to my Primary class, but one day he showed up. 

“Class, I would like to introduce you to my friend Mike,” is how I began my lesson. “He is visiting us today.” 

Mike sat next to me in front. The children sat in a semicircle with their eyes fixed on him. They were much quieter than usual. I was about five or six minutes into the lesson when one little boy got up from his chair and walked across the room and stood directly in front of my friend. The boy paused for a moment and then climbed onto his lap. I continued with the lesson as I watched the two of them from the corner of my eye. 

The boy sat looking into Mike’s face. Mike was quite uncomfortable but did not interrupt the lesson or turn the boy away. The other children watched the two of them for a few minutes. 

Then one of the girls climbed off her seat and approached Mike. I was intently interested in seeing how Mike would react and did not want to instruct the two children to return to their seats. The girl stood with her hand on Mike’s knee looking into his face. 

Then it happened. The boy on Mike’s lap reached up with both hands and turned Mike’s face directly to his. I stopped my lesson to see what was about to unfold. 

With the innocence of a child, he said to Mike, “Are you Jesus?” 

The look on Mike’s face was total surprise. It seemed, as I glanced at the children’s faces, they all had the same question on their minds. 

Mike looked at me as if to say, Help, what do I say? 

I stepped in. “No, this is not Jesus. This is His brother.” 

Mike looked at me as if in shock. 

Then without hesitation the boy in Mike’s lap reached up and wrapped his arms around Mike’s neck. “I can tell,” the boy said as he hugged Mike. 

The rest of the children smiled and nodded in agreement as their simple question was answered. Mike blinked back the tears in response to the love he felt from this small Sunbeam. The lesson went on, but that day the teacher who taught the most was a three-year-old child.” 

The child had seen something in Mike that he hadn’t seen in himself.

And then there are those talented souls who are able to draw deep from the depths of people abilities or talents. Remember Helen Keller’s story.

compassion

Or this little video that recently made its way on Facebook. Watching it brings people to tears as they watch Naomi Feil’s breakthrough moment of communication with a non-verbal woman.

 “The Lord is gracious and full of compassion” Psalm 111:4 

We never know when stating a simple observation or performing a simple action may be someone else’s lifeline. The atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ is just that. True, it is a humongous infinite act, yet its ongoing influence in our life is nearly indescribable and certainly priceless.

There is nothing I desire more than to feel God’s loving warmth and approval flooding through me. I’m grateful for the process of repentance and forgiveness, growth and progression. I am deeply grateful for His power to reach and soften my heart so that I can feel His love and acceptance as He reveals to me who I am-His cherished daughter.  Confidence grows and raises the chin a bit higher. My heart overflows with love, gratitude, joy and peace.

Nope, I didn’t list 101 ways to touch a heart. Please take a moment and share a time when someone touched your heart. Then we might very well have a take away list of 101 ideas to be kind and to show compassion. Thanks!

Have you experienced a time when someone said or did something that melted your heart or became life changing?