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Three Meter Zone | JD's Bunker | Poetry | Chapel | American Journal



Paul Schneidmill


Not long after I arrived home from work this past Thursday (October 28, 2004), my son (Paul B. – 11) asked me if he could go outside to ride his skateboard.  After determining he had no school homework requirements pending, I approved his request and he dashed for the great outdoors of our community neighborhood.


I did a few “home after work” standard activities (chat with my Mom and daughter, perused the mail, etc.) and went upstairs to change into my “at home” clothes.  While doing this, I could hear my son talking to someone outside.  I looked out of the window and saw him sitting in our driveway on his skateboard.  His back was facing me and he was alone.  After closer observation, I realized he was talking to someone on our cordless telephone.


As the committed and concerned dad I work hard to be, I decided to turn on a speakerphone upstairs, and monitor his conversation as a proper parental performance procedure (try saying that three times real fast…) to ensure the Schneidmill family standards were being maintained. 


I’m happy to say that they were, but of course, there is more. 


From the amount I overheard, the gist of the conversation, the manner it was conducted, and the content of the information my son was sharing from his perspective, made me extremely proud of him. 


My son and his friend (whom we will call “Andy”) were discussing the upcoming Presidential election.  Each of the boys were defending, or attempting to defend the candidate they believed should be the next President of the United States.  They were not in agreement on which candidate should be elected, but they held a civil and respectful conversation.


I was amazed!    


I was also amazed at the depth of conviction two young boys – not yet teenagers, had regarding their views on the issues that have been highlighted during the campaigning.


Though “Andy” maintained his stand on the candidate he “supported,” I was able to determine that was operating from a position of very limited information.  I couldn’t fault this.  After all, this was a kid who couldn’t vote. 


This reminded me that to date, there a loads of people who can and will vote in this election who also are and will be operating from a position of limited information…anyway, I was impressed with the position my son was operating from – citing historical aspects, heartfelt convictions, and viewpoints that could be validated (I know…I listened longer than I needed to…I guess I was exercising a sort of a mini parental “Patriot Act” in my home).


Again, I was amazed!


Just before I hung up, “Andy” was making references that America should only be concerned about their country and no others.  That was when Paul B. went into high gear!


I listened a little more because I was now hearing his compassion (the sympathetic concern for the suffering of another, together with the inclination to give aid support or to show mercy).  I was grateful to hear him express it and was immeasurably proud of him.


The next morning, as I read the Radio Bible Class Ministries submission for the day in their publication called, “Our Daily Bread,” I noticed that the foundational Scripture passage they utilized spoke of the compassion of Jesus Christ. 


Matthew 9:35-36 says in essence that when Jesus saw the many people in the regions He traveled, preached, and taught in, He was moved (motivated) with compassion for them because they fainted (lacked clarity and conviction), and were scattered (broken up and going in many directions) abroad (astray and in error), like sheep moving about without a shepherd. (paraphrase and explanations – mine)


Today, in great portions of society, not just in America, but worldwide, people are also like sheep without a shepherd. 


Fortunately, there is a Shepherd all mankind can have.  He’s the Good Shepherd (John 10:10), we can know Him relationally (John 10:14) and His compassion is in-exhaustive (Lamentations 3:22).


Like most people in America (I hope), this November, I’ll be voting for the Presidential candidate that most closely shares my convictions based on what I’ve learned and validated; not what I’ve heard or assumed.  However, if I and more people could/would be motivated by compassion, not just in conveying our political views, but in every facet of life, there would be less selfishness and more selflessness.


Take a lesson from a child, like I did, and be motivated by compassion, and let’s employ that motivation in all that we do and say.         


Copyright © Paul Schneidmill, All Rights Reserved