Unexpected encounters can give us a glimpse of God’s love.
There was a post on the social sharing site Reddit today that caught my attention: “Have you ever met a stranger who you never saw again, that you still think about on occasion?” While the responses vary wildly, some of the stories were touching:
“I was walking to the bus stop in middle school and a woman walked by with her dog. The dog jumped at me and the woman pulled him back and said ‘Yes, she’s pretty, isn’t she?’ It was a small thing, but after being relentlessly bullied at school for being ugly/’looking like a boy,’ it meant the world to me. Nine years later and I still remember. :)”
“I was in a bad place. I hated my job, hated where I lived and hated the person I was sharing the house with... even hated myself for ‘letting myself go.’ One night I got off my usual bus and went to place my empty cola bottle into the bin but missed it, and it bounced past me. So I stopped, turned around, bent down, picked up the bottle and placed it in the bin. As I did this, an elderly gentleman walked passed and commented ‘You are a good man. Thank you.’ I nodded, smiled and said ‘You’re welcome.’ This single, unnecessary yet kind act sparked something within me to sort out the stuff I didn’t like about my life. Later that night I told my roommate I was moving out, and by the end of the week I had found another (better) job. Five years later, I am generally much happier.”
“I drove down to Point Pleasant, NJ, with my boyfriend one time about a year ago; he had never been and I just wanted to spend the day with him playing at the arcades and such. I’m a master of the claw and my boyfriend loves Pokemon so we were looking around trying to find a machine with a Pikachu. We found one that a man was playing on trying over and over to get one for his kids. It wasn’t till after a few tries that I realized his one son was in a wheelchair and was a special-needs child. The father gave up after half a dozen tries and his son started crying because he obviously loved Pikachu. My boyfriend stepped up as they walked away and started trying himself. After a few tries he admitted he was trying to win it for the kid. He gave up too so I figured I’d give it a shot and after a couple tries myself I eventually won it. We then darted to the boardwalk looking for the family... they were playing a water-gun game while the dad and the son watched. My boyfriend handed the boy the Pikachu and his face just lit up... the dad had tears in his eyes... We said it was no problem and walked away with smiles on our faces. I really hope the dad still sees that Pikachu and thinks of us from time to time.”
Here at Mysterious Ways, we believe people come into our lives for a reason—even if their presence is brief. Reader Dorothy Weis encountered a stranger in a hospital elevator who needed to hear her story. Lucia Cipriano received a stranger’s kindness after immigrating to this country years ago... and recently got to return the favor. Myrtle Potter discovered that helping a stranger from church was exactly what she needed after her mother’s death.
What brief encounters have changed your life? Leave a comment or send your story to us.