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Everyday Compassion

Cropped shot of a female nurse hold her senior patient's hand. Giving Support. Doctor helping old patient with Alzheimer's disease. Female carer holding hands of senior man
David Gyung/Getty Images

Chastity was eight years old.

She was in the clinic at Church Health with her Spanish-speaking mother and baby sister. The baby had a simple cold, and I assured the mother that she would be fine. Then, Chastity explained that she herself had a stomachache. After a few minutes, I was sure something wasn't quite right.

"Where are you living," I asked Chastity.

"In a homeless shelter," she answered.

"How did you come to be living there," I asked.

"Our daddy found someone else and he don't love us no more," she said.

It was pretty clear why her stomach hurt. I made a phone call to the pastor of a Latino church and before the sun was down that day, Chastity, and her mother, and baby sister were out of the shelter and in the arms of people who would embrace and make them their own.

Nobody can make Chastity's father love her, but the type of compassion that rescued Chastity happens every day in Memphis. It's easy to point a finger at her father, but I choose to hold up the members of the congregation whose actions reflect the true heart of what makes Memphis special.

This is Dr. Scott Morris for Church Health.


Dr. G. Scott Morris, M.D., M.Div, is founder and CEO of Church Health, which opened in 1987 to provide quality, affordable health care for working, uninsured or underserved people and their families. In FY2021, Church Health had over 61,300 patient visits. Dr. Morris has an undergraduate degree from the University of Virginia, a Master of Divinity degree from Yale University, and M.D. from Emory University. He is a board-certified family practice physician and an ordained United Methodist minister.