Monday, July 27, 2009

Strangers in Need

Welcome, beautiful traveler. I greet you with a story.

Earlier today, I passed a woman crying on a bench in the Denver airport. She had her head in her hands, and for a moment I assumed this was simply another stranded passenger among many, waiting exhaustedly for a delayed flight. Then I heard her sobbing, and I knew better.

An instinct struck me, to ask if she was all right. And then, just as quickly, that instinct capsized beneath a wave of doubt. Would she be angry at the intrusion? Embarrassed? Would I do more harm than good?

I walked on. I checked in at my gate. I pondered my noble impulse and the cowardice that had tripped it up.

I walked partway back.

She still sat there, wiping her eyes now. Had she recovered from her moment of grief? I looked out the windows at planes on the taxiway.

I looked back down the hallway again. Other passengers walked by the woman. One glanced at her with a look that suggested she must still be crying.

I made up my mind to do what I knew I ought to do. I walked over and asked if she was okay. She didn't quite hear, and asked, "What?"

I repeated myself. "Are you okay?"

She nodded and said something quickly, "Yeah" or "Uh-huh," just enough to shield herself from an admission of her pain. Her eyes met mine with an uncertain mixture of confusion and gratitude, as though she couldn't quite understand why a stranger would be expressing concern.

"Good luck, then," I said, "with whatever it is that's bothering you."

She said, "Thank you."

And she meant it -- I knew she really meant it, even though she didn't say anything else.

Sometimes you can tell these things.

I hope she's okay.

Thank you, goddess of love, for the opportunity to help -- even if only in the smallest of ways.

Lovingly yours,

A devotee


Brother Frankie said...

hi, just passing thru..

i have made it a mission to stop, sit and just talk to folks like the crying woman. it has changed my life. there are thousands out there that just need someone to care.

be blessed
Brother Frankie
A Biker for Christ

Devotee said...

Thanks, Brother Frankie! Sometimes I think it's more important to make the world better in small ways than trying to make it better in big ones. Only a few people are really all that suited to the big stuff, but we can all do the small things, and usually without even that much effort ...

Brother Frankie said...

you are very welcome!!!

now lets talk about this making up your own religion cr*p. (joke)

Be Blessed

Devotee said...

Happy to talk anytime, Brother Frankie!

I lean toward the position that most of us make up our own religion, since even those who take a very devout view tend to emphasize the portions of their faith that best suit them, and ignore the portions that don't.

But maybe I'm just being cynical. It's a flaw of mine sometimes.

: )