I ran across a story yesterday that pretty much says it all. It was an article I’d clipped from the Tampa Trib (5/27/15) titled, “Carjacked Grandmother Details Hardest 20 Minutes of Her Life.”
The story begins with a 60-year-old grandma, Susan Davidson, stopping for gas at a well-lit and populated gas station not far from her small town home one night after allowing her visiting 2 and 4-year-old grandchildren to stay up for fireworks as a special treat. Susan had locked all the doors but the drivers side and was nearly finished pumping gas when suddenly a man in a full mask and gloves appeared by the drivers door, jerked it open, and jumped inside.
Despite her screams and efforts to stop him (including spraying him with gasoline), he drove away into the night with the sleepy precious cargo strapped into their car seats.
Now that part of the story is bad enough. But the next part is worse.
Susan’s cell phone and purse were still in the car, so she rushed into the gas station desperate for help. Her grandchildren had just been abducted. The criminal was still within tailing distance. Stopping him could mean the difference between life and death of her grandbabies.
But no one would help her. The other store patrons ignored her pleas and the store clerk refused to allow her to use the phone.
Only after she became hysterical and threatened violence did he hand her the phone to notify police.
“That was one of the biggest heartbreaks,” Susan said. “I had to practically beg the guy working that night. He wouldn’t even call 911 for me, just wouldn’t do it. And the other people, no one would even look me in the eye.”
The good news is that Susan’s car was found abandoned on a back road twenty minutes later, the children still tucked safely in their car seats.
The bad news is best summarized by Susan herself: “I felt deserted by mankind. No one would help me. People need to help other people when they’re in need.”
Kindness. Is it going the way of the rotary phone and shag carpet?
I know you’ve noticed the heated “discussions” (more like rants) on social and anti-social media of late; some of it’s politically based and some is morally based. Some seems to be based on nothing but generalized anger. But all of it is anything but kind. It hurts my heart.
Yours too, I’m sure.
Yes, I’ve blogged about this subject before, but recently my family has experienced the kindness of wonderful people – some total strangers, some neighbors, some longtime friends – during a season of great loss, confusion, and heartache. Words cannot express how that kindness morphed into the hands and feet of Jesus in touching our hurting hearts. A healing balm to the skinned knees of our spirits.
Thank you. Really, thank you. A deep, heartfelt thank you to each of you who have ministered to us with your kindness.
There’s good reason Papa God values kindness and wants us to also. But it’s sometimes hard in a modern world where kindness is often eyed with suspicion, tender touch is avoided, and compassion is punished. Lawsuits against Good Samaritans make people think twice before offering a helping hand.
But in the fruit basket of the Spirit, kindness is the kiwi: the green smiley face in your compote. The wonderful virtue that compelled Jesus to heal the lame, return sight to the blind, feed the hungry, and give lepers their lives back. And He wants us to treat each other with the same kindness: “Never let loyalty and kindness leave you! Tie them around your neck as a reminder. Write them deep within your heart” (Proverbs 3:3, NLT).
I’m wearing my kindness necklace today so I’ll remember to look for someone to be kind to. Someone who needs a little TLC in the midst of their fray. Someone whose head is hanging so low, she may have forgotten to look up to see the light.
What about you? To whom can you show a little kindness today, my friend?