Monday, May 6, 2013

The Kindness of Strangers

I find it humbling that I have benefited from the kindness of strangers more than once. This story is one instance that is pretty amazing to me. It's rather mundane, I suppose. But to me it was a miracle.

My wife Susan and I were parked outside of a major chain home supply store. We'd just finished shopping. I couldn't get the car started. The ignition would not turn over. The battery was probably dead. A few rows of cars away, there was a group of men, construction workers, one of whom saw us in our dilemma. How he knew what this dilemma was, or that we were stuck, I do not know. He came walking over to us. He was Hispanic, who knows, maybe an illegal alien, I don't know. He didn't speak English as far as I could tell. He motioned for me to get out of the car, which I did. He got in the driver's seat and stared at the dashboard. He turned the ignition key part way and looked closely at the instrument panel. I'm not sure what he was looking at, although I imagine he was looking at something to do with the battery. After thirty seconds or so, he leaned closer to the dashboard and, as if now was the right moment, he turned the ignition key and the engine started running. He got out of the car and in broken English told me I needed a new battery. He walked back to his group of men while I stood there dumbfounded. I got back into the car and drove directly to an auto-supply store. I've often wondered if this man was a real person or an angel. All I know for sure is that he was kind to me and my wife for no reason at all.
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