Family Night: Compassion

This is Tyce and Giles. As this picture was taken, Giles was saying to Tyce, "Tyce I wish your legs worked. If they did we would..." Giles proceeded to talk to Tyce about all the things they would be doing instead of sharing that chair watching the soccer game. They could have been nearby at the skate park with their scooters, at the playground or kicking on the soccer nets, stuff boys do when their legs work. Instead Tyce sat in this chair and Giles sat right next to him.

Tyce's legs normally work, he just had a really strange incident. He had just recovered from being sick and was depleted of all the things his body needs. The next day he started a soccer tournament and played three games in two days. It did something to him. His muscles in both legs cramped up and he literally could not walk for almost two days. 

Tyce is my son. Tyce knows Giles because their Dads, Jake and Joel. Jake and Joel became friends as toddlers. So here is an interesting twist. When Jake and Joel were around the same age as Tyce and Giles, a similar situation happened. Joel's hips had a complication, legg-calfe-perthes, and he couldn't walk. Jake's Dad is a chiropractor and at age seven, Jake knew his Dad could help his friend. He also knew that Joel's family didn't have the means to pay so he asked his Dad if he would fix his friend. Jake's parents still recall the incident, describing Jake with so much tenderness and feeling. Jake had so much concern and love for his friend and when he asked this of his Dad he agreed right away. For almost a year Jake stuck right by Joel. They did the things that Joel could do until Joel was better.  

It was an interesting few days as we stayed at Joel's house for the tournament. We witnessed the role reversal of Jake's sons legs now not working and Giles sticking right by Tyce to do the things Tyce could do, like play magformers on a blanket or cards on the trampoline. Activities that Tyce could be carried to. 

It didn't require a lot of coaching on Giles part, he just did it because he wanted to be with his friend. The same goes for Jake. He cared so much about his friend. He wanted to help him get better and stuck by him playing hot wheels in the dirt instead of running and playing at recess.

That experience has stayed with Joel to this day. It is fun to be Jake's wife and to hear this endearing story about my husband from a great friend. It makes my heart go all mushy and Joel? He gets a little teary when he shares the story. It is great to be loved and to carry that with you for all of your life. Jake had no idea at that age that this story might make his wife love him even more. He just knew what he felt in his heart. When we truly love others we feel what they feel and want to help them.  

Compassion Family Night

Song: Give Said The Little Stream

Song: Peter 3:8

Object Lesson: Ask family members to trade shoes and act or impersonate the person who's shoes are on your feet, walk like them, talk like them, do anything that shows you are trying to be them. Laugh about it and come back to it later in the lesson.

Video: Watch this fun Brain Games Experiment

Talk about how compassion changed the experiment. 

Story about compassion: Choose a story from your own history or use the story about Tyce & Giles and Jake & Joel.

Wrap up the lesson by talking about how when we love others or think about putting ourselves "in their shoes" it helps us have compassion for them. When we imagine ourselves in their shoes we can more easily see what their needs might be. 

Talk about how showing compassion starts a chain reaction. Encourage each other to start the chain and make a difference in the lives of people your do not even interact with by showing love to those that you do. 

Closing song: I'm Trying To Be Like Jesus