Robin Gudal: Always show compassion toward others

Published 8:00 pm Friday, January 29, 2021

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EN(dur)ANCE by Robin Gudal

I have a special needs, (mostly) nonverbal sister. My parents adopted her in the ’80s from Columbia, not knowing all her health issues and quite frankly not being concerned. I remember the story of dad calling mom from Columbia and communicating, “She doesn’t speak!” Her reply, “Just bring her home, we’ll figure it out.” Well fast forward many years, we still haven’t figured it out. And, may I say; it’s OK. She knows how to communicate better than most of us on any given day. Words are not always necessary. She speaks with her heart.

Robin Gudal

I collected angel items for years. My hubs collects old marbles (rolling eyes; is this in case I lose mine and he has some extras to share?). You likely collect something — most of us do. My sister collects friends.

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Once on an airplane trip to visit our sister Anna in Boise, Idaho, there was major plane issues. You know the scenario — delay, then false anticipation of boarding, yet another delay. Somewhere along in this process, day turned to evening and then night. A hotel was their solution; off we were sent by taxi (pack a few extra items in my purse next time was my takeaway lesson). To say this process was smooth would be a blatant lie. People were not happy. When humans are not happy, they often turn crabby. We couldn’t control the situation, and it was turning ugly. After all, we all had places to be.

“God initiated a loving relationship with us and models for us what love does, how it looks and how it feels.” — Shawn Bolz, “Through the Eyes of Love.”

Then my sister! She is happy-happy-happy. She smiles. She is empathic. She cares about your feelings and she has that radar that knows how you are feeling. I remember the demeanor changing as we waited in that long line for those near her. They became less agitated. She was engaging with them. She loved on these complete strangers, and it changed them.

The first three words of Ephesians 4:32 (NKJV) instruct us: “And be kind! “

We recently went camping with her, and I had some health issues. She told others, “owie, Ra (Robin) tooth.” She rubs my arm with compassion if she senses my stress level going up. She’ll go get lotion and rub on my ankle that a mosquito just used as lunch. She gets tears in her eyes when she hears an ambulance or fire truck. She communicates compassion lovingly!

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

“As in water face reflects face, so the heart of man reflects the man.” — Proverbs 27:19, ESV

My sister collects friends. What do you collect?

Robin (Beckman) Gudal is intentional in life, a wife, momma, nana, friend and a flawed and imperfect follower of Jesus.