Today was just a day like any other day, and he was just a boy like any other boy.
He knew today would be like yesterday and like tomorrow. For him there was no difference in the days. He did not see how the golden leaves moved against the blue sky. He did not feel the autumn sun. He did not hear the robin singing. For him the days were made of loneliness and pain.
She was just an old lady, walking slowly along like any other old lady on the street. He watched her anyway. There was nothing else for him to do. He thought how slowly she moved and how heavy her bag of groceries must be. But he did not move.
She did not see how the golden leaves moved against the blue sky. She did not feel the autumn sun. She did not hear the robin singing. For her the days were made of loneliness and pain.
He saw them before she did – the boys on their bicycles, heading straight for her, circling her, riding too close, until she fell and her groceries scattered.
He watched the boys ride away laughing, looking for someone else to entertain them. He thought how their only laughter came from someone else’s pain.
He watched the old lady slowly gathering up her belongings. He thought how mean the boys were and he hated them for their meanness. But he did not move.
He watched her. There was nothing else for him to do. He did not hear the robin singing.
Then he was beside her, putting her things carefully into the bag, handing her the purse she had dropped. It was then he looked at her and saw for the first time her face. It was familiar to him – not strange at all. What the boy saw in her face, he knew very well.
Neither of them spoke a word. He handed her the refilled bag. She smiled at him and reached out her hand to touch his shoulder. For a moment the loneliness was gone from her eyes and from his.
It was just a moment of kindness and connection that passed between them, amid their days of loneliness and isolation. But it is this moment they each will remember when they think of this day, not the meanness of the boys. Because a kind moment shines in the memory becoming brighter and warmer with the passage of time. A moment of kindness dims those more painful memories with its’ sheer brilliance.
She moved slowly away. As she did, she saw how the golden leaves moved against the blue sky and she felt the autumn sun. She heard the robin singing as if for the first time.
He watched her go. He saw how the golden leaves moved against the blue sky and he felt the autumn sun.
It was just a moment of kindness in a world of pain. Yet they each knew the secret truth – that this moment could sustain, indeed would sustain, the heart.
He watched her go as he listened to the robin singing.
“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:32)
sincerely, Grace Day
3 thoughts on “the miracle of a moment”
I love this…what a difference kindness makes
They were both better for his kindness!
This is beautiful picture of the power to heal through an act of kindness as we walk about in the land of the walking wounded.