We can never fully grasp, until heaven, how what we do or say has impacted another’s life. Is anything greater than even small acts of kindness shown to someone truly in need?
Fridays I don’t work in the office. So yesterday my BFF/MoH, Kelli, and I decided to go to St. Monica’s midday to pray together after our needed long talk and brunch at La Madeleine. That’s right, take it to the Source.
It didn’t take God long to bring two weary souls to us, in two completely different forms. We all have needs, but sometimes have to expose them to someone who we do not know.
The first was an elderly homeless man, that is at least what was ascertained by his appearance. A couple of rows ahead of us in the Adoration Chapel he sat, hunched over and head down resting on a bony, age-spot speckled hand. Plaid shirt was dirty, lack of proper hygiene was apparent, beard was long and full, disheveled grey hair matted in a ponytail.
He began coughing, and couldn’t stop. I was looking for a Halls or something in my purse to offer – shoot, only gum. I showed it to Kelli – “no” she shook her head.
Um….what else….uh, water in the car? But I had already opened and sipped it. “No,” again.
Kelli asked if I had $5.00 to give him. I told her that I thought I had spent my last cash on Brunch, but opened my wallet still. There sat a lone $5 bill. She knew it, and it found a new home in that moment.
We moved outside to the beautiful Prayer Garden. It was sunny, warm, breezy – just perfect. We hadn’t been chatting for too long before the second encounter happened. A very troubled teenage boy, Anthony, came to us. I could see it in his eyes that things were not right in his life.
He asked, “Miss, do you have a cell phone that I could use? I just got kicked out of my cousin’s house. I’ve been walking a long way, and I’m trying to find my Grandfather’s house, but I can’t exactly remember the way…”
I looked intently at him, trying to figure out if he could be trusted. He needed help is what I gathered, and my cell phone was a small way to provide that.
“What is the number?” I asked.
He gave his Mom’s phone number to me. Then I asked for his name and hers.
I spoke to her for a moment, letting her know that her son was there at St. Monica’s Church. I then passed off the phone to Anthony, and he briefly spoke to her.
He expressed his gratitude as he handed the phone back to me. He then asked Kelli and I if we were Methodist.
“No, we are Catholic. St. Monica’s is a Catholic Church.”
“Oh, I was born that too, I think.”
“Uh, yeah, I think so. Or is it Christian? I don’t know.”
“We are Christian too. And Catholic,” we responded. Funny how he blurted out a thought that many believe is in fact mutually exclusive…
I felt compelled to tell him that my Grandpa’s name was Anthony.
He smiled, “Really?”
“Yes, it was. He passed away back in 1996.”
“I’m sorry, Miss,” he responded.
“That’s OK, he’s been in a better place,” said I.
Kelli let him know that there was a Chapel right there through “those” doors, and Jesus was there. He said that he had just been in there praying, and that he had a lot of problems in his life right now.
“We will pray for you, Anthony,” we assured him.
How humbling to see Christ in another, and for them to possibly see Him in you – if you allow it. May the sharing of these simple stories about the power of kindness inspire and challenge you to find new ways to show it not only to those that you know, but those that you do not know.
My friend says that there are no strangers in Christ – we are all children of God. And that is how she lives her life. How do you live yours?