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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
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."
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
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.