Compassion over Fashion

By Lisa Washburn

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One spill taught me about true kindness.

When I was a new Beehive, I enjoyed Young Women, but I was also shy and a little intimidated by the older girls. I had a hard time relating with them since their main interests seemed to center around boys and clothes—or so I thought.

One of the first Mutual activities I attended after turning 12 was held in the backyard of one of our leaders. All the girls were there, including Shannie,* one of the older Beehives. She was well-liked by everyone, and tonight she was dressed in the latest summer fashion, right down to her sparkling white tennis shoes.

When the refreshments were served near the end of the activity, we all took our cookies and purple punch over to the lawn chairs where we could eat and socialize. I sat down next to Shannie, placing my glass of punch on the ground. As the girls began to talk, I shifted my legs. To my horror, my foot knocked over my glass of punch and it spilled all over Shannie’s left foot! I sat paralyzed as the deep purple spread over the once-sparkling-white shoe. I was sure all the young women had seen it happen. I thought I would die of embarrassment!

As I began to choke out a desperate apology, Shannie put her hand out and said in a soft voice, “Hey, it’s OK. Don’t worry about it.” And she meant it. She encouraged the conversation to continue as though nothing had happened. For the rest of the evening she seemed to ignore her soggy, purple shoe.

In that moment, I realized that while Shannie was well-dressed and popular, her biggest priority was to treat others with Christlike kindness. I will forever remember the compassion she showed to me at a time in my life when I needed it most.

Illustration by Greg Newbold

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  • Name has been changed.