One time, when I was a child, I was not picked last for a team; I wasn’t picked at all. The team captain who was supposed to choose the last remaining player declined to choose me. It hurt. Really hurt. But Cheryl, a girl on the other team, said, “Come on, Jennifer. You can be on our team.”
Twenty years later, I walked into a restaurant, and there was Cheryl. Throughout the years I had thought of her and what she did for me that day. She included me. She said that I was good enough. When I saw her, I was so choked up with emotion that I could barely speak. I thanked her for being nice to me when we were in school. Even though she remembered my face, she didn’t remember my name or that day on the playground. That was okay. I did remember, and her compassion still meant a lot to me.
Ecclesiastes suggests that compassion may be returned to us. Even small acts of kindness can make a big difference in someone else’s life. Our compassion is the bread we send out, and maybe one day those who enjoyed that bread long ago will be able to come back and tell us that what we did made a difference.