Posted by: Louise | February 29, 2012

What does compassion look like in a four year old?

It was hard not to stand out as we walked along looking for a shaded, quiet spot beside the river.


Three expatriate ladies with a brood of 10 children between us. 10 precious, lively little lives, aged 7 months to 7 years. It’s not unusual to picnic at the graveyard here, but I’m not sure I’ll ever be totally comfortable with the surroundings. But that day the company was very comfortable. We shared our picnic mats and our picnic food. Each friend bringing their own treats and snacks to offer. There was tropical fruit, shelled peanuts, cookies, chocolate from the UK…. and sticky hands, spilt juice, a crawling baby who desperately wanted the chocolate that was off limits to her… there was excitement, delight and lots and lots of pleasant noisy noise that only 10 children aged 7 and under can create.

In the middle of all of this exuberant display of life I felt truly thankful to the creator of all things. For each little child around me, many of whom I had held just hours after being born, for their mothers who have encouraged me along this missionary and motherhood journey and for the stunning creation in front of me.

Most of the children ran ahead to take a closer look at the river and I remembered to take out my camera and snap a few photos.


The shutter can’t capture the joy I felt in this moment, but I made it click, in the hope that I’ll never grow complacent of the joy of motherhood, friendship and creation… IMG_5338.JPG.png

Just after this snap the children ran off in different directions and I was left feeling so blessed.

It was then I noticed the two kindred spirits striding towards me, hand in hand. They had that look of purpose, that only four year old girls who are on a mission can have. “Can we share our cookies with them?” Her blue eyes and her words pierced my heart. I knew who she was talking about, I had seen them out of the corner of my eye, the Lola (Grandmother) with the two small children.

I stood convicted and challenged by the compassion of my four year old, who had noticed the needy in the middle of her fun, excitement and joy.


Compassion that was not stifled by her normally “shy with new people” character, but compassion that said “I’ll hold your hand and together we can be brave and do what’s right”.


Compassion that wasn’t prompted because she was told to share, but compassion that reached out because deep down she knows that ” It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35)


Praise the LORD! How joyful are those who fear the LORD and delight in obeying his commands…. They share freely and give generously to those in need. Their good deeds will be remembered forever. Psalm 112: 1+9


  1. This moved me to tears, how special!

  2. Hi Louise, this really blessed my soul. Thank you for sharing. Children are so uncomplicated, no wonder the Bible tells us we have to be like them. May the Lord bless you all.

  3. this story is sweetness itself. thanks, Louise, for sharing it ♥ and for sharing with your children this outlook on life…i’ll be sharing it with OUR children.

  4. What a beautiful picture of compassion! Soj and Lydia are turing into such lovely young ladies! You captured the moment so well!

  5. Somehow I missed this post and was told to come read it…I’m so glad I did. What a beautiful little girl in so many ways. I can picture scenes im our busy house, full of people, when you would have stopped to think of others. I have a feeling Lydia may have learnt this from her mum:-)

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