A Year of Being Kind blog – Tuesday, December 23, 2014
Unexpected? Kindness to a Stranger
I spent the whole day at work, cleaning up from last night’s service. Getting ready for tomorrow night. Read to the preschool children, and talked with a few others. Someone came to the door. Talked and prayed with that person, had some more interaction. Answered some email, wrote a few letters, and generally had a productive day. Good day. Worthwhile day.
I had a few errands to run on the way home. Stopped at a grocery store, a drug store, a friend’s apartment, and then—finally! I ran by a fast food place to pick up some things for dinner for my family. Got a couple of tacos apiece, and left.
As I walked to my car, I happened to pass a woman. She was dressed in a worn winter coat. Knit hat on her head. I looked at her. Met her eyes, with my friendly smile. I could see, from the way her face changed slightly, that she had some hope. She asked me for some change. One problem: I do not often give people on the street any money. But tonight?
“I don’t have any change. But are you interested in something to eat?” The middle-aged woman quickly nodded. “Do you like tacos?” Again, the agreement. Positive response. I beckoned to her. She walked with me the few dozen feet to the door of the taco place. I found out that she didn’t have any place to live. “I ride the train at night.” She meant the elevated train. A difficult thing to do, riding the train. Especially when it gets really cold, which it will in the Chicago area starting tomorrow night. She agreed.
The woman ordered two tacos. As we stood at the counter, I gave her the rest of the five dollars (which was all I had left). Plus, my brother had sent me a coffee card in his Christmas card a few days ago. I still had the gift card, with about four dollars on it. I gave it to the woman, too.
The young woman behind the counter watched all of this with eyes wide open. (She couldn’t have been much more than twenty-one or twenty-two.) She knew I had ordered some food a few minutes before, and left. And then, I returned with the middle-aged woman. As the counter person looked back and forth, her expression took on wonder. Surprise. “That is nice. Really, that is.” After a moment or two, again, she said, “That is so nice.”
As the two of us left, I asked whether the woman had someplace to go on Christmas. She said she hoped she might. Maybe, find someone she knew who would allow her to stay inside for a night or two. I smiled at her, sadly. “I hope you can find just such a person. God bless you.” She thanked me for what I had done, what I had given her. And, I said I would remember her in prayer.
So, please—could you remember this dear woman? Send kind thoughts her way. Pray God’s comfort, encouragement and mercy upon her. God knows who she is. God bless her. Truly.
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