I sat at a local grocery store deli. My heart was heavy, thinking about the attacks, and my teacher who was in a hospital half way around the world in a coma. I thought of the words I had shared that morning about kindness, and my thoughts returned to the kindness of my teacher. My mind flooded with all of the expressions of and reflections of his kindness that I had read since that sudden morning. I bowed my head to offer a simple prayer over my meal, and to pray, once again, for Richard.
Almost instantly I heard a voice say, “You are fifteen dollars short.” My head snapped up and something propelled me out of my seat and over to the register.
“Can I pay the difference?” I heard myself say.
As the bag boy was beginning to remove two large packages of chicken thighs from the grocery bags, I looked at the customer in line. There stood a tall, very dark, kind looking man. He spoke to me in a thick accent.
“What you mean?”
“Can I pay for the rest of the groceries?”
I looked at the cashier.
“You can pay for them if you want to,” she said.
“My teacher is in the hospital,” I began to stammer, my voice thick with emotion. “He was injured in the attacks yesterday. He is in a coma.
“He was hurt? I so sorry,” the customer with the kind eyes replied.
“I invited my friends to share kindness today on his behalf. Will you please let me do this, for him?”
“Yes, thank you. “
As the young boy returned the chicken, the cashier instructed the man to swipe his card, and then allowed me to swipe mine for the remainder.
The amount was $14.43.
“Please pray for Richard,” I implored.
“We will,” said the customer, the cashier, and the bagger. “We will pray for him.”
It took all of three minutes. Three minutes to share the light. Three minutes to join together in common humanity, kindness, and faith.
It cost all of $14.43 to create a shift in the darkness, to invite strangers into the light of hope, to share the light.
The customer needed kindness. Richard would have offered that kindness. He wasn’t there, but I was.
We all have three minutes. We all have some resource. We all have kindness within us.
Choose to share the light. Choose to chase away the darkness. Choose to act. Small things, multiplied, can change the world. Go and do something today.
Share the light with others by tagging your stories #sharethelight, and post to our Facebook group Share the Light. Join the movement. Make a difference. Shine on.