Stories of Kindness from Around the World

Leaving the Door of Compassion Open

--by monkeyinpajamas, posted Oct 17, 2009

Two days ago I was woken up at 1 AM. My roomie stood at the door (she was returning from a club) along with a huge middle aged man with long hair. 

"Please let him in", she told me, "He has been locked out of his apartment". She had seen him , cold and shivering (it had snowed the previous night) and immediately asked him to sleep at our place. He was a law student in his fifties who had been doing his homework at the laundromat when he found he had left his keys in his house.

I'll be honest, I'm pretty square. I have never had a strange man sleep in my house before. My roommate and I are both less than 5 ft 3 and we have been asked to 'not speak to strangers' since we were kids.Not to mention we're in a new city that we have lived in for less than a month. And here we were, soon giving the man my blanket and pillows. He accepted our hospitality with reluctance and decency and as soon as  dawn broke he spoke to maintenance and got back into his apartment.

The next day he came to our house beaming, telling us he owes us big time for not being frozen out in the cold. He left us a beautiful card saying - "Thank you so much. Your actions were so sincere. What are the chances that two really beautiful women let you sleep in their house when you're frozen cold?"

He cooked us a wonderful simple 'thank you' dinner over which he told us about his life (barber, vietnam vet, priest, law student) . He told us how he was completely touched by our concern for a total stranger. I learnt a lot that evening. As he narrated how once he brought a homeless man in to eat Christmas dinner with his family, a lump rose in my throat.

My chain-smoking, compulsive drinking roommate taught me a huge lesson :  Let go of your fear, always leave the door of compassion open and you can never go wrong. 

And I still have goosebumps.

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Readers Comments

FairyBubbles wrote: That is a really powerful story - it has taught me a good lesson. I am so thankful that you shared it.
Mish wrote: Wow. Just read your story... I do not thinkI could have done what you & your roomie did....maybe living in NYC all my life has made me too wary...
heartofflesh wrote: Do not play for safety because it is the most dangerous thing to do!
Varea wrote: We never know what people are out there and what could have happened but i know that the holy spirit was with the two of you, and yeah thanks for being compassionate. I pray that someday when confronted with a situation as such in life, i will remember your story and welcome the poor fellow, after all, it's the least we could do, aye! . God bless you both!
luckyman wrote: Dear girls,
I have read your story many times and also e mailed them to many and i salute you for helping a stranger in the middle of the night and not being afraid to provide lodging a stranger. Not many girls would have done what you did. You really listened to your heart not to the mind. Your story brings a lump in my throat.

sam wrote: Hello, my name is samson, i,m in my late 20,s but i dont have anything to show for my life, all my life i had struggles, and i,m still struggling day to day, i,m tired. I walk hours to be able to use an internet cafe at a public place, no one shows me love, i have no friends, cause no one wants to be a friend with a poor young man or a beggar and i fits into those two description. I went through this site and i have decided to tell my story here. I need a friend, a tue friend, who would listen to me, cause i have so much on my chest but have no one to talk to, i,m so alone, please i need you, i,m dying from poverty, from loniness and from not being able to be on the path to achieve my goals, i need a friend.
MsSmiley wrote: . Yep, goosebumps for sure! Thanks for sharing that thought-provoking story :)
Sharon wrote: Lovely, uplifting story and something that we can all practice in a very simple way. Many thanks for sharing this terrific idea. Bravo!
luckyman wrote: Thanks for sharing. I believe your friend and you were gently guided by the holy spirit. You have followed the direction of your heart. Whenever there is a conflict beteween heart and mind listen to the heart. Real danger lies in playing for safety ignoring the call for compassion
God bless you both
V . G . Sundar
cabbage wrote: Wonderful story--and thanks to you and your roommate for being angels to this man.

Much love and hugs,

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