And he and his wife nodded emphatically yes
Sunday September 05th 2010, 10:10 pm
Filed under: Friends,Life

He spoke in church today. He’s a young doctor who had just gotten back from a medical mission to Africa, and I know his wife was anxiously waiting his return. I asked if I could share his story here, and he told me warmly, Yes.

It was Sunday and he was in a city. He asked at his hotel whether there might perhaps be a Mormon church nearby?

The familiar in a strange place, the chance to worship with others where the Sacramental prayers are the same, no matter the language, all over the world.

Oh yes; just take a cab to the subway, get out at this stop, turn and go up the hill, you’ll see it, it’s right there.

He got off at that subway stop to find himself in a place where he, a white man dressed in a tie, felt suddenly very conspicuous. It was not a good end of town. And he clearly was not from there.  He was Other.  There was no sign of that church whatsoever, no safe haven.

In those moments, another man stepped off the subway. “He was wearing a purple shirt and carrying a Bible.”  That man was on his way to church too, and when asked for directions stopped and spent twenty minutes going out of his way to walk the stranger to where he was trying so hard to get to, befriending him and, by his actions, proclaiming the love of God in the world. By living that love.

And then he headed off to his own church.

The language is universal: when we choose not to be strangers, we are, I said to him and his wife, each other’s angels.

7 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Great story, and that’s a really lovely thought about being each other’s angels. I’ve run into many in my life and they are usually life savers in some way or lift my spirits when they desperately need it. Love is so powerful. One day a young woman with a baby in a stroller was walking down the sidewalk and fell quite hard onto the cement. I was sitting in my parked car waiting for my son and saw it. She was obviously hurt because she stayed down. I jumped out of the car and helped her up, dusted her off a bit, and offered her a ride to her house. It wasn’t much, but it obviously gave her comfort to know someone was there. By that time her husband had come to meet her and she declined my offer of a ride politely. My mother is a good, generous woman but when I told her of this she said “you can’t save the world Mary.” I don’t know why she said that, but it got me thinking that I could help save a small portion of the world – MY portion. I’m always looking for ways to help, sort of like the random acts of kindness idea. It feels so good to make a difference in someone else’s life no matter how small it is.

Comment by Mary 09.06.10 @ 1:30 am

Now THAT is a 21st Century good Samaritan.

Comment by Channon 09.06.10 @ 7:51 am

I really like that phrase,”when we choose not to be strangers”. thanks

Comment by Sherry in Idaho 09.06.10 @ 8:56 am

Mary’s mother’s comment about ‘you can’t save the world, reminds me of one Rachel Remen’s little stories about the older man walking along the beach, tossing stranded sand dollars back in the surf. I don’t recall the exact wording, but it was something like this: a young man tells the older man that he can’t save them all. And the older man says that no, he can’t, but those that he does save appreciate it.

Comment by Don Meyer 09.06.10 @ 9:45 am

Thanks Don. I really liked the story about the sand dollars. I’ll remember that one.

Comment by Mary 09.06.10 @ 2:10 pm

The powerful phrase here for me is “when we choose not to be strangers”. It is a choice. Walking up to the neighbor down the street who is out in their yard and saying a quick hello rather than jogging on by makes for less efficient work outs but a better functioning neighborhood.

Comment by twinsetellen 09.07.10 @ 5:15 am


Comment by Margo Lynn 09.07.10 @ 9:15 am

Leave a comment
Line and paragraph breaks automatic, e-mail address never displayed, HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>