Friday, June 22, 2012

OPEN OUR EYES - Eleanor Shepherd

As Glen and I bowed our heads for prayer together before leaving the breakfast table at the beginning of our day, I prayed.  "Lord, open our eyes to the ways that you choose to show us Your love for us today."

After work, I picked up Glen and we drove to Dorval airport where we planned to have supper together before he boarded his flight to London’s Heathrow airport.  Since it was early for supper but the line for security was long, we decided to skip supper together and we would each eat later.  After waving him off at the gate to go through security, I headed to the parking garage stopping at the automated machine to pay for my parking.

I put the parking ticket into the slot and when the amount I owed, six dollars, showed up, I pushed my credit card into the machine to pay.  When after a short wait no transaction took place, I withdrew the card.  I had been having some problems with the magnetic strip on that card.  Sometimes automated machines did not recognize it on the first try.   Not too concerned, I tried again.  On the second rejection, I wondered if I might have put the card in the wrong way.   I turned it over and tried again. Words came up on the screen telling me that I had inserted the card incorrectly and I needed to insert it in the way indicated by the pictures on the machine.  I tried again, inserting the card according to the diagram, as I understood it.   Again, the machine spat out the card, unable to read it.  Clearly, I had to find another alternative.

By now, I was certain that the next customer standing in line behind me was becoming impatient.  My best option was to cancel the operation and take the time necessary to search through my handbag for another credit card. The second one, I sometimes used, had not been in the pocket where I customarily kept it, when I had reached for it after my usual card did not work.  I ran into a problem.  I could not figure out how to cancel the transaction. Trying to get out of the way, so the line could proceed, I panicked when what I thought was the cancellation button produced no results.  After pressing several buttons, I finally hit on the right one and out came my unpaid ticket.  In the meantime, I continued rummaging in my bag for that second credit card.  I knew it had to be there somewhere. 

“Go ahead,” I said to the person behind me in line, so he would not have to wait, while I was searching for the elusive card.  I emptied the pockets of my purse, where I kept all of my cards to no avail.  I unzipped my wallet and rifled through the cards in it.  No credit card. As I kept searching, trying to consider what other options I might have, the man who had been behind me in line, having paid for his parking, stopped and stuffed a ten-dollar bill in my wallet.    He said to me, "I saw the amount on the screen and this will cover it."

"Thank you!" I was so surprised I could not think of anything else to say. Besides, there were others joining the line behind me waiting to pay for their parking.  I quickly put the cash in the machine and l out popped my paid ticket as the change rattled into the cavity at the bottom of the machine.  I grabbed the change and looked around for the donor, so I could return it to him.  Then, I realized that I had been so distracted that I had no idea what he looked like.  I did remember that he did not strike me as someone who was particularly wealthy.  However, he seemed to have disappeared, so I could not give him his change.  I headed out to find my car, saying repeatedly to myself, “What a sweet man!  What a sweet man!

I was so excited about this unexpected kindness that when I stopped at the bank on my way home to order a replacement card, I had to tell the service representative there about this kindness.  I think she was as pleased as I was to find that there are kind people around who will do things like that. 
From the bank, I went to my Weight Watchers class.  As I weighed it, I had to tell the person who was weighing me about my good experience at the airport.  I could not seem to keep quiet about the kindness I had been shown.  As I sat down for the class, I remembered my prayer that morning, asking the Lord to help me to see the evidence of His love during my day.  I had seen it, in a kind deed done to me by a stranger and I had shared it.  My prayer now was that those with whom I shared it would come to understand Who prompted such acts of kindness.  Maybe, like me, they were praying for eyes to be open to see God’s love that day.  
|Winner of 2011
|Word Guild Award
Winner of 2009
Word Guild Award


NanS said...

Mrs. Shepherd, congrats in your recent writing award. It's an inspirational article.


Peter Black said...

Eleanor, I'm a mindless fumbler when it comes to dealing with those sort of machines, and I felt your discomfort keenly when reading your account. What a good outcome for you, and a positive testimony to your morning prayer's being answered by the kind action of that man . . . An angel in disguise?

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