You can make a difference…even to a stranger!

164923006A couple of weeks ago, I shared a blog post on my Facebook page that I had read about reaching out to a stranger who is hurting. It was a short, but powerful message you can read here if you’d like.

A mom, Rebecca, shared her own story of being helped by a stranger. Rebecca’s story was so moving that I asked her permission to share it with you.  She kindly agreed.

When my daughter (now 14) was a year and a half old, I booked a trip from IL to GA to visit my parents and brother. Before I left, I had gotten fired from my job (long story), and even though I was pregnant with our son, my then husband had told me he wanted out of our marriage. To make matters worse, my daughter had a double ear infection, and was still on antibiotics.

Needless to say, it was a rough flight.  As I struggled to console a cranky toddler, everything just overwhelmed me, and I lost it and just cried and cried and cried. I don’t know which one of us was creating more of a disturbance.

Then, out of the blue, a young mother with a few little ones of her own approached me and asked me if she could hold my baby for me. I didn’t even know you could walk around on a plane. And I knew she had her hands full herself. But, being a mother, she apparently understood what I was struggling with, and left her comfort zone to help a hurting person in need. She told me she would take good care of my daughter, and bring her back when the flight was over. She insisted that I get some rest.

I felt ashamed and embarrassed for having created such a scene. But I also felt the love emanating from the kind act of a complete stranger. I haven’t forgotten that moment, and never will. And, while it may be way out of my comfort zone, I would not hesitate to do the same for another person.

Listen…God is speaking to you, to be His hands and feet. Hug & comfort one another. It’ll do wonders for them, and you as well!

Rebecca’s story is such a good reminder that we can make a difference even to a complete stranger.  Give a smile to a mom with a cranky toddler at a restaurant. Offer to help a mom load her groceries into her car while she wrangles her two-year-old.  If you see someone crying alone, step out of your comfort zone and ask, “Can I give you a hug?”

Rebecca has never forgotten the kindness of that mom over 12 years ago. She made a profound impact on Rebecca’s heart and soul.

You and I can do the same.

What about you? Have you ever been on the receiving end of a stranger’s kindness? Have you ever comforted or encouraged someone you didn’t know? 


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4 thoughts on “You can make a difference…even to a stranger!

  1. My daughter and I were in Chicago late at night coming home from Michigan with a van load of people. We caught a taxi to get to the Metra station to catch the last train out of the city for the night. Our taxi driver didn’t understand and dropped us off at the Amtrak station. We had 3 bags of luggage, my daughter was 8 and here it was 12:30 at night. There were numerous flights of stairs but dragging our luggage behind us, we flew down the stairs back into the street. Someone told us we could catch the Metra across the street and pay for our ticket on the train.

    It was the back side of the Metra complex. Two or three more long flights of stairs outside. I saw a man in the dark shadows and figured he was a homeless man. He was smoking, it was dark, we were frantic by then. That man came to us, said give me your luggage, I will help you. He did, helped carry it all down the stairs and where we needed to be. I think I thanked him. We got on the Metra, my hair was disheveled and I’m sure our clothes were too. I told my daughter I think that man was an angel. I wished I would have given him some money and told him thank you but there just wasn’t time.

    An hour and half later when we got to our car, my daughter thought she saw him on the adjoining train car but we will never know. I was so grateful for his help in our time of need.

  2. I had been praying that God would use me. I was feeling like being a stay at home mom with two children was so narrow. Pouring into my husband and kids day after day felt mundane. “Please help me to make a difference in someone’s life. We frequented the local family pizza place every Friday night. (That was starting to be mundane too until a family came in that looked so sad.)The mom had apparently been fighting cancer and the dad looked so tired with a few kids under tow. I felt so tender and couldn’t help but notice the strain and solemness if the family. I almost started to cry and couldn’t take my eyes off the family. I felt the prompting to do something. My husband noticed my eyes and encouraged me to do whatever The Lord prompted me to do. We got in the car and I couldn’t leave. I said ” I need to go in and give those people a hug. ” I went in and asked if I could give the woman a hug. I hugged her and her husband. The husband looked at me with shock and tenderness. He said, ” No one has ever done this to us before. ” I said I felt compelled to do this and “God Bless you”. I got bAck in the car and told my family. My husband was supportive of acting on my convictions and my sons got to see how to not be afraid when God calls us to do something a “little different.” I have learned to be ready when I pray for God to use me.