Monday, April 11, 2011

Slowing Down

It was five o’clock on Friday, and I was speeding hurrying home from work, glancing at the time and the speedometer as well as the roads. (Now I want to interject that I was hurrying because I wanted to get to the Stations of the Cross church service on time. No excuses, of course; I’m just explaining.)

And as I sped along the roads, I had a flashback to another moment in my life when I couldn’t have hurried even if I wanted.

It was one week after I had major surgery in Nebraska and my parents and I were beginning the long car trip back to Ohio. We had stopped for some lunch at one of those mega rest stops, and it was crawling with people, like a giant ant hill—everyone busy with something to do and somewhere to go.

But for me, just walking from the car to the restaurant was wearying. Each step was taken cautiously. I was a snail amid this swarm of ants who were scurrying to and fro, utterly oblivious of me. Or perhaps they did notice me, but to them I was simply a girl in their way, somewhat disheveled and definitely too slow. It was an incredibly humbling experience for me.

Then as I painstakingly hobbled back to the car, an older man appeared on the sidewalk in front of me. He looked at me—and saw me—and he walked over to open the passenger door of my car for me.

That was it. Just a simple act of kindness. But it touched me deeply at the time.

And as I reflected on it once again, it reminded me of how important it is to choose




To look around and actually see the people around us.

To ‘open doors’ for them when they are in need.

When our eyes are watching the clock or focused on speeding along in our busy lives, we can easily miss the needs of our fellow travelers. A small, simple act of kindness can mean so much to those who feel like life is swirling around them while they stand—or hobble—unnoticed.

(Oh, and in case you were wondering, I made it to church on time last Friday.)

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