Read Isaiah 58:7-11

A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed. Proverbs 11:25 (NIV)

Every time my family plans a trip to the northern part of Puerto Rico, I suggest going to the city where I was born. On one trip, our visit coincided with a craft fair in the plaza.

Artisans and vendors displayed an array of merchandise. Music filled the air as musicians entertained the crowds. It was a festive and joyful day with much to see and do.

During the busiest time of the day, my daughter stood in line to buy lunch at a food stand. It was hot, and people complained about the heat and the long line.

Suddenly a disheveled woman approached. She seemed disoriented, speaking unintelligibly, and a few customers shied away from her. But the owner of the food stand immediately stopped what he was doing and approached the woman in a gentle manner. His voice was filled with compassion when he asked if she would like something to eat. He quickly served her a generous meal. Moments later, she was smiling as she went on her way.

My daughter returned to us with tears in her eyes. She said, “I have witnessed and heard the most beautiful message, a message far better than the ones I normally hear. It has opened my eyes and helped change my attitude. I pray I can honor God by showing mercy and compassion to others.”

Prayer: O God, help us to abide in your love and to show compassion to others just as Jesus taught us. Amen.

Thought for the day: God rejoices in my acts of kindness.

—Maria M. Urdaz, Puerto Rico