Compassion in action

The other night, a young lady (late teens/early twenties) came up to me as I was straightening shelves in the pharmacy section. She seemed nervous and slightly agitated as she addressed me and asked where she could find “You know, pregnancy tests”.

I didn’t just point the way, I led her to the aisle where they were. I don’t know if she was hoping for a positive or a negative test, but that didn’t matter. I remember the day that Kristen came to me and (again in a nervous and agitated manner) informed me that she was pregnant.

It occurred to me that there is probably not something that a man can go through that is as emotionally intense as waiting for a pregnancy test to develop. Regardless of what the result is, her life is not going to stay the same. Assuming that its positive, she’s about to become a mother, perhaps for the first time. On the other hand,  she is about to go through a highly charged discussion with her male counterpart, which may end up with him leaving her in the lurch, or may end up with her having to decide to have an abortion. 

If the test is negative (not pregnant) she may end up having to inform her male counterpart that they are not going to have a baby at this time. The alternative is that she feels like she dodged the proverbial bullet and doesn’t have to deal with either an emotional discussion with him about the fact that he’s going to be a father OR she might have to go through an unsupported pregnancy or have an abortion.

I can’t help but feel my heart swell with compassion for every woman that I see pick up a pregnancy test. I don’t have to know her particular circumstance to know that she’s in for an emotional roller coaster once she gets home. I can’t help but think to myself “I hope that she gets the result that she wants” every time.

Now, I just need to work on bringing that compassion to the rest of my life. That’s a challenge.

CC BY-SA 4.0 Compassion in action by Geordon VanTassle is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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