Yesterday while out shopping, I watched as my husband opened the door to one of the stores and stood back to let a lady exit. To my complete dismay and irritation, she got halfway through the exit and then stopped to yell at someone she was talking to on the phone. While Liam and I stood patiently, she concluded her conversation, slammed the phone shut, and then turned around to grab her kid. When she was finally ready to leave the store, she never once looked in our direction; neither did she mumble a “thank you”.
I admit I was angry at first, but then I just got sad. I wasn’t around for it, but I do know there was a time when a stranger could show up at a homestead and be invited in for food or rest. Nowadays, we don’t even know our neighbors’ names. When did we go from brotherly love to a world full of strangers? When did that sense of basic human kindness disappear?
I see goodness on a grand scale quite often, of course; that’s undeniable. After major disasters, people seem to come together to offer aid to the suffering, and it’s a beautiful thing to experience. Churches send out mission trips on a regular basis, and lives are forever changed. I don’t doubt there are still decent human beings out there, and I know I meet my fair share on a daily basis. I also know that everyone is entitled to an off day. My husband will tell you I have more off days than on days, as a matter of fact. I do feel that we’re all missing some connection to each other that mankind once had, and it leads to situations like I observed yesterday. It leads to strangers looking at me like I’m crazy and asking, “Why are you being so nice to me?”
I want to feel that connection to people. I want someone’s smile to brighten my day. Actually, I hope my smile brightens someone else’s day. Mostly, I wish that lady wanted to thank my husband for holding the door for her.
As ye do unto the least of these…