She stood in line quietly crying, holding onto a metal sign to steady herself.
I’d just arrived at the airport gate, ready to catch my flight back to Billings yesterday. As I waited for my zone to be called, I noticed her wiping the tears from her cheeks.
That’s when I noticed that many other people were watching her as well. Although she was not crying loudly, her soft sniffling and flowing tears caught the attention of anyone who glanced in her direction.
I waited a few moments more, hoping that one of the women sitting within a few feet of her would come to her aid. But no one moved. They were all paralyzed by the same hesitancy that was holding me back.
“I don’t even know her.” “What will I say?” “Will she be offended by my intruding?”
I finally overcame my doubts and took a step toward her, but I was too late. Another man who had noticed her grief approached her first. I thank God I was close enough to hear parts of their conversation.
“Are you OK?”
A quick glance to catch his eyes, to read his heart. “No, I just found out my mother died. I was on my way to see her, but now I’m too late. I wanted so much to tell her once more how much I love her.”
He had the courage to touch a stranger; to place a gentle hand on her arm, to show, not just say, “I care. I’m sorry.”
“When did you last talk with her?”
“Did you tell her that you loved her?”
“Yes, of course, but I wanted to do it in person, one more time.”
“If you told her yesterday, then your words were still echoing in her heart. Mothers always hold such words tightly. They are more precious than diamonds.”
The woman’s face brightened. Hope came into her eyes. “Thank you, thank you so very much.”
As the ticket agent called the next zone, the two of them moved toward the gate, still talking.
I regretted that I had hesitated too long to comfort her, but I was glad that God had made another man so other-aware and other-engaging that he would step forward with just the right words. Words that perfectly illustrated an age-old saying,
“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle.”
– Ken Sande
- How do our acts of kindness identify us with Christ? (Col. 3:12).
- Think of two times when God moved others to show you unexpected kindness. Thank him once more, then call or write those people to tell them again how much their kindness meant to you.
- Think of a time when you hesitated to show kindness to someone. What was it that held you back? Pray that God will change your heart so that the next time you see others in distress, you will move quickly to encourage them.
- Memorize and meditate on Colossians 3:12 and the saying given above. Then ask God to help you see an opportunity to act on this wisdom today.
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© 2013 Ken Sande
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