Stories of Kindness from Around the World

More Than Just a Favour


--by wayfarer, posted Sep 20, 2009

I had an errand to do in Saltcoats today.  I arrived early so I decided to go for a walk by the harbourside. It was pouring down with rain but I had my new waterproof jacket on so I didn't really mind. 

As I was walking along, I met someone who wasn't so lucky. He had swept back salt 'n' pepper hair, a bushy gray beard, sky blue eyes - and he was soaked through and through.

"Could you do me a favour?" He held his hand out.

"Probably not," I replied. Things had been tight financially and for the past fortnight I'd been telling my kids we can't do this and we can't afford that.

"I've been trying to chase up the price of a beer," he continued.

Well, I admired his honesty. If I'd been living on the street like he obviously had, a beer might have been important to me too. I had a single, solitary pound coin in my pocket. 

"Here," I said. "I hope it helps."

He could hardly take it for shivering. He explained his sleeping bag had got soaked the night before, while he was in it, and he hadn't been able to get dry since.

"That's rough" I thought.

"It's an easy situation to get into," he continued. "Just fall out with your wife and have nowhere else to go. Know what I mean?"

I did know what he meant! Oh God, this could have easily been me! A couple of months ago my wife and I had a huge falling out. I was on the point of walking away forever - even though I had nowhere to go!

I wanted to help him. Something told me to take off my new coat and give it to him. "Hmmmm. But I like this jacket." I thought to myself "I'm just not THAT good. Yet." 

Then I thought "You know what, I can do better".

I turned around and together we headed into the town. On the way he talked. He told me he used to work in the army as a horse trainer. But most of all he wanted to tell me about the friends he had made recently.

He talked about the ladies in one charity shop that gave him books to keep his mind occupied. Then they changed them for others when he was finished, free of charge. Another friend worked in a caravan park and let him use the toilet block to shower and change in. The staff at one shop sometimes gave him their out of date food. He had more stories like this...

I stopped at the cashpoint and without looking to see how far in the red I was, I increased my overdraft.

We went into a charity shop and I bought him a second hand Barbour jacket. (The kind farmers and country folk wear because they are so good at keeping out the weather.)

It fit him beautifully.  It was just what he needed and just happened to be there at a real knock-down price! (Funny how that happens sometimes, isn't it?)

He was hobbling because he had blisters on his feet. Maybe because he was wearing shoes that were too small and he had worn them through.  I bought him shoes that did fit.

Before we went our separate ways I took him to a baker's shop and bought him some hot food.

Then I asked him his name.

"Bill ... and ..." He was a little emotional by now and really grateful that I had taken the time to help.

"David," I said, closing off any need for thanks. I shook his hand, slapped his shoulder and wished him a better day. As he walked away the last thing he said to me was, "It's wonderful where the help comes from."

 

 

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Readers Comments

glorioski wrote: A turn of heart from a single phrase, really. His chosen words connected your humanities, however distant at that moment they were, to how similar at a deeper level they are. So many times when we are approached by someone in need, we are struck by an element of fear-uncertainty of whether or not our aid will be of true service. But in shooting the dice our odds are good. Any time we have the potential to provide a leg up, i think we should.
ShayK wrote: Wow, if we could all love and care like this! I don't believe the world would be the same. Humble i am, humble you help keep me. There but for the grace of god are we.
mtalii wrote: Blessings and more blessings. David, you are one of a kind, i wish the world would be like this-caring and kind.

My you reap a hundred fold.

Thanx.
Author Diana Lynn Neiderhiser wrote: Girl of love


Girl of love.

Messenger of love.

Assisting. Look at me.

Tell me what do you see?

I hope you see love.

There’s nothing greater than love.



I am here to assist
In the distribution
Of spiritual love.

Peace and happiness
Shining from above.



I am living here in this hemisphere
Creating a loving atmosphere.

No more devastation.

Only love creation.



Love is like a flower that blooms when
Watered with warmth.

Real love can survive any storm.

Love is a beautiful, powerful form.

Real love i adore.



Love is plenty. Lasts for eternity.

Round like the moon.

Love is a bright vibrational tune.



Don’t despair. Love is in the air.

No more hate. There’s no need to wait.

Love is here now.

Embrace, embrace.

Girl of love.



-diana lynn neiderhiser © 2002.



Michele wrote: This reminds me of the email story about why isn't god doing something to help these people and he answered that is why i sent you. And you are living proof of that story and you took it and completed the mission for him.

God bless you for your inspiration to bill and me too. Thanx! :)
norman wrote: Never grow weary in doing good! Thanks for sharing.
goosefeather wrote: Just 10 minutes ago i was reading about how we have to give, even if it's your last 5 dollars, or 5 minutes you thought you didn't have. What an inpirising reiteration!
LoveandLight1111 wrote: :)
Veena wrote: Really inspiring! God bless u david.
sonrisa wrote: Wow wayfarer, i'm humbled by your act of generosity! Thank you for sharing with us, this very profound experience of "doing better" -- it's definitely inspired me to do better next time i face a similar opportunity to be kind.

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