I have witnessed many a time when a stranger has shown kindness to another stranger, but this one particular incident stuck out for me. It happened one morning as I was hobbling to work. Earlier that morning I had twisted me ankle while jogging, and it was quite sore. I was beginning to think of the reasons I could self-pity myself when I happened to see an old woman sitting in a wheelchair. Her face, which was weathered and downcast, looked as if it could never laugh again, much less smile.
Normally, I would have just walked right past, pretending I didn’t see her.
As I was making my way across the street, however, a young boy, who was making his way to school, stopped by the poor old woman and handed her a large sticky cinnamon bun, fresh from the bakery.
I could see, as the woman took the bun, her eyes light up. She was surprised, I could tell, that the boy would give a complete stranger something probably so dear and so loved by himself.
Along with her surprise, I felt my own feelings- guilt. Guilt that so many times I had passed this dear, poor old woman and not so much as cast a glance in her direction. Guilt that I had not shared a little of what I had when I had so much.
Guilt that I had not obeyed my Savior’s instruction to His people.
Guilt that I had been feeling sorry for myself over a bruised ankle and yet, this woman had been enslaved to a chair for many years, not being able to move her lower body.
“Father, forgive me.” I whispered as I walked slowly to where the thin, raggedy old woman was finishing off her last bit of sticky cinnamon bun.
Reaching into my purse, I pulled out a few bills and some change. Stuffing them gently into her hand, I said, “May the LORD bless you.” And I walked away without another word.
She stared vacantly at the money in her palm and wondered how she could have gotten so lucky in one day.
But I knew in my heart that it was not luck- it was the Holy Spirit.