Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Brushing Destinies

“We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.” ~ Mother Teresa

A couple of days ago I received an e-mail from a friend who’s been going through the proverbial pouring of misfortunes lately. Within the last eighteen months she has dealt with the loss of her father and grandmother, the relocation of her elderly mother, health issues, and other assorted problems waiting around the bend almost on a daily basis. The latest blows include her phone and car dying the same day. With her permission, I’m including here part of the e-mail she sent me.

“I spent most of the day yesterday being stranded. Again. Something (seemingly) totally different with the vehicle happened yesterday. A hose is actually MISSING. Blew off from the radiator fluid thingie. Smoke everywhere...scared me and my daughter to death. Had to coordinate 100 things from a cell phone that is still working when it chooses to.

But it was a wonderful teachable moment that makes me actually grateful it happened. Right after T. and I pulled into Office Depot (first place to get off the road), a couple and young son (10 to 12, I'd say) came over right away to see if they could help. He looked under the hood and showed me what was happening. The son was very sweet, too.

They had just been evicted from their home and were to be homeless in two days. It's a long story, one which will stay with T. forever in a wonderful way (talk about putting things into perspective), but suffice it to say that the car broke down there for a reason. I hope I was able to help them as well in the small way I could; I know my gestures were as appreciated as their gestures of kindness to us.

The simple fact that - knowing the struggle they were enduring in that moment - he came over to offer assurance in some way was worth a million dollars. We're all just people doing the best we can, not judging others along the way and doing the best we can to help when we can, however small it may seem. Little gestures mean the absolute world.”

After reading my friend’s message, I thought of all the “accidental” encounters I’ve had with people who struggled along their own path, but whose presence in my life at that moment was exactly what I needed. Some taught me patience; others taught me tenacity; some others were just there to teach me compassion or to give me a flash of hope.

Some of the people we cross paths with, we may never see again; yet, just that brief moment together was worth all the wealth in the world. One word, one smile, a fleeting touch can turn someone’s day into the right direction. No action is ever too small.

1 comment:

CUZ said...


Again you hit the jackpot. This blog lifts my spirit and fills me with compassion for both these families.