The Kindness of Strangers – Billie Joy Langston
Six seconds remained on the crosswalk sign as I approached the Tenleytown Metro station at Wisconsin Avenue in the nation’s capital. I wasn’t sure the young man in the wheelchair would make it across in time. With a colorful, monogramed “Chuck” hat pulled over his ears, he looked both ways to ensure no vehicles were fast approaching. Chuck almost made it across the street until he was faced with the challenge of an inclined curb. It seemed unreal that a major street in Washington, DC would have curbs that inclined. But Chuck didn’t give up.
Pushing hard and breathing heavy, he tried vehemently to roll up the incline of the curb. By now, the blinking crosswalk sign indicated two seconds left for crossing, and it was obvious Chuck wouldn’t make it. At that moment, I rushed to his rescue. Without a second to waste, my hands grasped the wheelchair handles. I pushed hard to get him over the concrete hump. “We made it, “I shouted. Chuck continued rolling down the street while moving sideways in his chair, smiling and waving, to give a return shout of thanks.
As I watched him roll out of sight, my heart was touched knowing helping him was the right thing to do. After all, what would I have done otherwise? Stand there, do nothing, and just watch a man struggle to get his wheelchair across the street? It was a subtle reminder of God’s rich and overflowing gift of kindness given to us through the love of Christ. Jesus instructs all of us to follow the Golden Rule…to do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
It’s funny how kindness can wear mirror hats. On Wisconsin Avenue, God assigned me as the giver of kindness to a stranger. But then I think back to the many times in my life when I have been the recipient of acts of kindness from people I’ve never met.
Jesus taught the world about kindness, love, and peace. Wherever you find yourself today, look for any opportunity to accept the call of Christ to show kindness to someone in need. By doing so, the kindness of Christ will shine brightly through you.
Photo courtesy of www.freedigitalphotos.net & Phaitoon
Billie Joy Langston is a freelance Christian and professional business writer, educator, public speaker, writing coach and trainer, and Christian hospitality specialist. She holds a bachelor’s degree in anthropology with a second concentration in journalism and a master’s degree in education from Howard University, Washington, D.C. She has traveled extensively throughout North America and the Caribbean and has visited forty-six of the fifty United States. She loves the beach and spends as much time as possible at the shore with family and friends.