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I had a three-week holiday recently and I had the opportunity to go to South Africa.
I absolutely loved the experience because I got to explore a lot of different cultures. I ate at the houses of many people from different parts of the world and so I was very eager to learn and observe how things were done. I think I am just a big fan of culture and learning.
Oh! And the landscape of Capetown is just amazing!!! Mountains everywhere! And those pure blue skies!! 😍
Anyway, it was time to return to Nigeria and the night before we were to leave, my dad noticed that my mum was on a different flight from ours!
This was bad news because her flight was for about 11am and my me and my dad’s flight was for 6am. This meant that she was going to remain in the house or stay at the airport for about 5 hours, by herself.
That was not good at all and there had to just be another way out. My dad started to call the airline and everyone he thought could help, to no avail.
Being the risk-taker he is, my dad decided that my mum should go with us (him and me) to the airport at about 4am, with the hope that somehow, a miracle was going to happen and she would fly with us.
I wouldn’t lie, I didn’t have faith in that plan. It wasn’t looking feasible to me. Besides, I felt like my dad was over-reacting.
We got to the airport and joined the queue to check in. When it was our turn, we walked up to the desk to meet this very well-groomed lady. While my dad was handing her out documents, he told her about our problem.
She told us that it was going to cost us money to change the flight arrangement. Being the Edo man he is, my dad was slowly backing out of the plan after he heard ‘cost you money’.
She eventually directed my dad to a Help Desk and told my mum and I to wait. We were happy because she didn’t tell us to follow my dad. That would have made us have to go back to the queue after leaving the Help Desk.
After about a minute, she left us and went to the Desk where my dad was. I watched what was happeneing over there and I saw both of them trying to negotiate with the lady at the Help Desk.
After about 5 minutes, they both walked back and my dad had a wide grin on his face.
‘We are all on the 10am flight!’ He said, full of gratitude.
‘Did you have to pay?’ I asked, wanting to know the real source of his happiness.
‘No, she just walked up to her manager and told her about us. The manager told her that the 10am flight was free enough to accommodate us and she was free to fix us in there’
Aha! I knew he had been told to not pay anything, LOL!
My dad didn’t stop talking about that lady till we got to Nigeria. He prayed for her more than once and told everyone she was an angel.
I learned something from that lady that day… COMPASSION.
I’ve learned that one way to have compassion on others, is to put yourself in their shoes, this was what The Good Samaritan did.
“In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’”
Luke 10:30-35 NIV
Others saw the stranger beaten and in need of urgent help, but they could care less. Other things were more important.
The Good Samaritan, regardless of his tribe or status had something the others did not… COMPASSION. He knew that the man was going to probably die if he did not do anything and most importantly, he knew he could go the extra mile to help.
Sometimes, we help people to fulfill all righteousness, not because of compassion. If The Good Samaritan was going to just ‘be nice’, he would have dressed the wounds and continued his journey. At least, he did something, right? That’s how you know you’re not doing something out of compassion; when you do it so that you can tell yourself ‘At least, I tried’.
Not only did he take this man to the inn, he paid the bills. He knew a man like this didn’t have the money to pay. He put himself in the man’s shoes. That’s what God wants; not niceness, compassion!
That lady must have imagined herself traveling on a flight, different from her husband and child’s or imagined how much money we would have had to pay, knowing she could have done something about it.
Other people like her would have stopped at telling us that if we were going to be together on a flight, we would have had to pay. At least, they ‘helped’.
So, dear reader, it’s not enough to be ‘nice’.
Till next time,