In Los Angeles, the City of Angels, there is a man who is an angel on earth.

He is a man who selflessly cares for terminally ill children — children no one else wants. He gives them a home, a family, and a life of comfort for as long as they have to live. The man’s name is Mohamed Bzeek.

Mohamed Bzeek (Image Source: GoFundMe)

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Bzeek’s story was highlighted recently in a Los Angeles Times article. He has been a foster father for decades and has buried 10 children. That’s right — 10 deaths, 10 funerals, 10 lives that were lived to their fullest capacity with the help and compassion of one man.

“The key is, you have to love them like your own. I know they are sick. I know they are going to die. I do my best as a human being and leave the rest to God.”

Compassion is defined as “a feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering.” Bzeek has worked tirelessly to alleviate the suffering of these children who might have otherwise known nothing but suffering.

Bzeek is a man of faith, recognizing that all life is created by God and that every person has a soul. He is a devout Muslim, willing to give his own life up for the betterment of others.

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“The key is, you have to love them like your own. I know they are sick. I know they are going to die. I do my best as a human being and leave the rest to God.”

What an inspiration.

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Mohamed Bzeek uses his own God-given gifts to minister to these children. He cares for them as no other human being does, literally. He sacrifices his own desires and needs for theirs and metaphorically lays down his own life for them.

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What if the rest of us could apply our own faith and God-given gifts in such a selfless, generous way? Rather than focusing on the negativity that bombards every one of us on a daily basis, what would happen if we focused on serving other people? What if we used our energy to show other people love, mercy, and compassion — rather than bickering and nitpicking?

Certainly Bzeek’s life is a dramatic example. This man invests so much of himself — exposing himself to emotional pain and stress for the good of lives that almost certainly will be and are brief — lives that he knows and understands will be cut short. But what a beautiful example this man offers in terms of communicating that every life has value.

Yet all human life begins with an expiration date. We are all terminal — every day moving closer to our own deaths. James 4:14 says, “For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.” Just as all life is brief, so, too, is all life precious.

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There are also small ways to show compassion to others around us. And as only God understands, more opportunities grow from that one small act. More people are encouraged. Who knows how many lives Bzeek alone has influenced? How many doctors, nurses, social workers, or just everyday people who read about him will be moved to do more through their own lives? How many acts of kindness can be traced back to the kindness of Mohamed Bzeek? And as kind as Bzeek’s heart must be — the source of kindness surely comes from God above.

Living each day as if it were your last is a common phrase of encouragement. However, living selflessly means to live each day as if was someone else’s last.

Katie Nations, married for 15 years, is a working mother of three young children. She lives in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.