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Theresa watched as the driver beside her struggled to find space for her car. Even though she was settled in her own spot, even though she had kids in the car and didn’t need to be bothered with another woman’s issues, Theresa cared. She noticed another woman’s struggle and chose to let it affect her. And when it did, she had no other choice but to start up her own car, to back it up, and to move it over just enough to make more room.
*Because of Theresa—a struggle ended, two hearts grew, and a friendship blossomed.
Tim looked in his rear view mirror as he waited in line for his coffee. He saw a man. In a truck. The man wasn’t yelling or angry and he didn’t look mean, but his eyes and the way his smile scooped down, looked sad. And Tim noticed. Tim cared. So when he got to the window he told the clerk he wanted to buy the man behind him, a coffee.
“But he’s ordered two drinks, not just one.”
“Then put both on my bill, please.”
“Shall I tell him they are from you?” she said with a smile.
“No, no,” he said, modestly. “Just tell him a stranger cares.”
And so she did.
*Because of Tim—strangers grew connected, a clerk grew an unexpected smile, and you and I, well, I think it’s fair to say that our hearts probably grew at the mere idea of it all.
Charles knew she wouldn’t be able to afford it otherwise. And somehow, he knew how important the event was to her. Somehow, he just did. So he offered. As he had never offered before. His living room couch. For three nights. To a woman he had never met before. Charles opened his home to help a stranger. She could’ve been crazy. Or filthy. Or even wildly weird. She could’ve stolen from him or treated him badly. He wasn’t stupid. He knew all these things. It was just that his caring was stronger. So much stronger than everything else.
His caring was who he was.
His caring is who he is.
*Because of Charles—I wept with happy tears, a deep and lasting friendship was born, and that caring part, well, I'm pretty sure it grew stronger in many more hearts than just mine.
* * *
Is your hand just your hand or is it more than that, a part of your body?
Is a tree a mere tree or is it more than that, too, a part of the earth?
Is a droplet of the sea really any different than the entire sea?
We are each individuals but we are a part of families, communities, societies—the world.
Each of our acts can be viewed alone
Or they can be strung together
Seen as part of a whole
A whole within us
Affecting everyone around us
Of our own
Affecting the world.
True caring isn’t an act.
It’s a lifestyle
Aching to be chosen.
At a time.
What life then, will you choose?