Deaar Angel Gabriel,
It must have been last fall. I was walking home from somewhere . My angle was off by just enough at the intersection of Oxford and Monroe. Without realizing it, I was veering into traffic, away from the tell-tale truncated domes marking the safety of the other side of the street, the last tactile hurdle on my trek back to the house. It wasn’t snowy or windy or rainy. There was no particular reason for me to be “off” my game. I just was.
And there you were. On your way to wherever. Witnessing and willing to take the time, offer your arm, do the right thing, ensure a stranger’s safety.
You had seen me there at Starbucks several times , chewing the fat with the girls over a tall blonde or soy latte. You were a medical student and fascinated by my cheeriness and chuzpah. We lived in the same neighborhood and you’d seen me walking through it over the months. But we’d never spoken. Never even smiled at each other. You just knew I needed a hand and were willing to extend it.
And so I was the recipient of the random act of kindness we all hear about. IT was fifteen simple paces from the middle of the street to the other side. That was all you thought you were doing but you were very, very wrong. Because here I sit at least six months later on a lazy Sunday morning thinking of the gift you gave me that day. The messenger with the good news. That there are still good people in the world. That the millennial generation isn’t full of selfish, myopic narsicists. That wherever I go in this world, God watches and protects me. That it is okay for me to make mistakes and not okay to lose the courage to try to live as independently as possible. That it is okay for me to accept help at times. That I have friends I don’t even know. In fifteen paces and a 30 second conversation and handshake on the far side, you unwrapped this timeless present. And as I walked away, nervous but ready for the home stretch of my walk that day, I saw with the eyes in the back of my head, you watching me, propelling me with prayers and well wishes back to my own front door. . For all of this, Gabriel, I thank you. I hope this finds your ears and eyes and that our paths will cross again someday- hopefully not in oncoming traffic!