A few days ago I had the opportunity to help out a stranger. It wasn't anything special - I believe most people in the same situation would respond in the same way.
There was no thank you. Instead, these words were spoken softly:
"I didn't know there were still good people in the world" with the hint of a sad smile. And then she was gone.
I wonder if she knows how powerful those words were - that hearing them once again in my mind causes my throat to ache as I try to contain the tears?
What world must this woman live in where goodness and kindness are the exception and not the rule? What experiences has she had that cause her to doubt the compassion and caring of others? What do her eyes see? And why are they hiding behind such dark sunglasses on a cloudy day?
I am so blessed to be surrounded by people who are good and kind - and while I am grateful for these people each and every day, I will admit that often times I take it for granted. It's hard to be reminded that not everyone shares those qualities - not everyone has access to people who are caring, supportive, and loving on a daily basis.
It's hard to believe that one action - even if I consider it to be insignificant, can in fact be so very significant. I didn't give her the gift of my service today - perhaps it was something much, much more.
Perhaps it was the gift of hope.