Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: ALL TALK, NO ACTION (01/10/19)
- TITLE: The Kindness of Strangers
By Laurie Staples
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I watched the husband stow the suitcase and gently buckle the toddler into her carseat. He was strikingly good looking. At least she’d hit the jackpot when she snagged him!
As soon as he made sure everyone was all set, he headed up the aisle to his own seat. A flight attendant touched his elbow and told him she was sure she could get someone to change seats with him so he could sit with his family.
“Thank you,” he answered, “but my family is sitting up front. I was just helping her out.”
A lump formed in my throat because nothing moves me like the kindness of strangers.
When we landed, it was after midnight. It had been a long, hard day and we were all eager to get off the airplane and head for home.
Ugh! It was going to take FOREVER to get that family off. The children were fast asleep, with zero desire to move, much less have those heavy backpacks strapped back onto them.
Nevertheless, we had them up and ready in short order. One flight attendant retrieved the surprisingly heavy pink suitcase. I carried the carseat. Another carried the toddler. The little boys staggered half-asleep down the aisle.
“We have a wheelchair ordered, right?” I asked. “Because their stroller isn’t going to cut it.”
“We don’t have a stroller,” bemoaned one of the little boys.
What?? Are you kidding me??
The wheelchair was waiting and we loaded it down as best we could. But two backpacks and the car seat were still left for the little boys to handle. They put the backpacks in the carseat, each grabbing a side of it, but it was heavy and they had to put it down every few minutes.
I caught up with the guy pushing the wheelchair, “Can you please order another wheelchair?”
“Everyone else is gone for the night.”
That figures. That poor family.
The tram showed up just then, and with a sigh of relief we slipped in right before the doors closed.
It wasn’t until the next day that I realized I'd missed the chance to exhibit the kindness of a stranger. Big time. I felt sick. Who knows what blessing I’d missed out on if only I’d chosen to go the extra mile. Maybe I could have learned her story, encouraged her. How could I have left those little boys to carry those heavy backpacks and car seat on their own?
Even as I write, my heart hurts. Live and learn. How often have I heard those words from my mom? Too many to count.
I pray I DID learn this time. Please God, open my eyes to see those who need someone to go the extra mile with them.
But I know I WON'T see them if I don’t slow down. Dallas Willard’s advice for all of us is: “Ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life.”
I doubt anyone needs to heed that advice more than I do.
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