Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Love in a Biscuit.....another Random Act of Kindness

 Once upon a time, a young woman walked through the streets of a big city. It was rainy and cold and all who had braved the weather that day were rugged up in Winter coats and warm scarves.  The young woman was on her way to a delicious lunch in an inner city eatery. She was well dressed in a long chocolate coloured dress and beautiful Italian leather heels that she had  spent half a weeks wages on. She loved the way the heels clicked against the footpath as she rushed to her lunch date, the new shoes were well worth the money, she thought to herself.

She had only a short block to go until she reached her destination when she noticed a beautiful old theatre which was  decadently lit up on such a cold, dreary day. She wondered what production may have been playing and looked towards the front foyer of the building for a poster advertising shows. 
In a second, all thoughts of a show were gone, for she viewed one of the saddest sights she would ever see.
An elderly, homeless man was lying on the cold concrete floor outside the theatre doors. He was huddled in the corner with a dirty old blanket over him. He appeared to be asleep and had no possessions to call his own.

A little tug pulled on the heart of the young girl.  She felt pity for the man and wondered what card life had dealt  to him to see him like this.  He could be somebody's grandfather or father. Why wasn't he warm at home in front of a fire, watching tv  ?  Was there somebody in the world who loved him ?
The young girl seemed to slow up in her steps, a vision of grey had been etched into her mind.  
She reached her destination, enjoyed lunch with her friend and engaged in idle chit chat.  She  then strolled around the store admiring decadent biscuits and teas imported from England. There were delicious jams and pickles made locally and packaged up into oh so pretty  gingham boxes with bows.  Beauty surrounded her and the smell of  rich food filled filled the air. 

All the while,  she held the same grey thought in her head, it sent shivers down her spine. The rain was beating up against the shopfront and people were rushing to stand under what little cover was offered.  The poor old man was out there in this weather and would likely remain there the whole night.
This world was a mixed up, muddled up place sometimes. 
The girl felt a warmth of love towards the man. She didn't know his story, but whatever it was, nobody deserved to live like that. 

Compassion in her heart, she walked towards a counter in the store that was selling freshly baked biscuits.. She ordered a big bag of shortbread hearts and cream filled biscuits and breathed in their lovely smell.  A hot cup of coffee finished the order and she walked up the stairs and out of the store.
It was freezing outside and she walked hurriedly towards the train station.
Lights from the theatre were approaching and she wondered if maybe the old man had moved on to a warmer place. Sadly as she approached, she saw that this was not the case.

A smile and a warm greeting raised the old man's suspicions. He slowly sat up with caution on his face. Was this a kind visit or another mouthful of abuse from passers by who had judged him for his ways. He was tired, cold and never touched a drop of alcohol, unlike many of his friends. His story was a sad one, he kept his woes to himself, his problems were just his own. He felt no need to burdon others.

He looked up into smiling warm eyes and an outstretched hand. "Excuse me sir, I thought you might like something to warm you up !"

The two strangers regarded each other. They each felt no threat and only a moment of friendship.

"Thankyou Miss," came the raspy old reply. "God bless you !".
The man held the warm coffee to his chest to warm himself.  The bag of heart shaped cookies was safely on his lap and a smile had washed across his face.
Today was a great day, an angel had found him and touched him on the shoulder.  There was a ray of hope.
Hope was all he had in his life. Love had long since left him and he was all alone in the world.
He looked up to say goodbye but the new friend had left, she wanted no thanks, she had given her gift of warmth and wanted nothing in return .

The young woman quickly walked away. She felt new compassion in her heart, she had learnt not to judge. Judgement is not what the world needed. Love was within every person on the planet and if everybody showed just one Random Act of Kindness towards each other, then the world would be a happier place.
She had not saved the man, but she had sewn a thread of hope into his heart. Maybe, just maybe, he would find his way to warmth tonight.


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