What is wrong with society? Wars. Rumours of wars. Nigerian girls kidnapped. High school massacres. Children starving, stricken with disease, and stolen. In a world far away.
Then in my world, news headlines proclaimed a child was almost abducted from a mall mere suburbs away.
Fear. Sickened to the core. Malicious evil is no respecter of person. Where is the benevolance? Where is the love? Losing faith in humanity. Who will help the least of these?
I needed to buy groceries. With suspicion and vigilance, I took my children to the mall, aware of the lurking evil. Laughing, I made it an adventure, but deep down I was wary of everyone.
About to leave, the kids spied a coin-operated ride, a reward for their cooperation. I didn’t have money, so they enjoyed themselves without the bells and whistles. They are quite used to this. It’s not that I am too cheap to pay, I seldom use cash. It is rare to carry notes, let alone a two dollar coin.
In the middle of the mall, a place I now associated with abduction and mistrust, a man came along. Probably in his seventies. He looked at my boys, asked if they had been good. Then he fished around in his pocket for a gold coin.
With a twinkle in his eye he said, “I’m not a millionaire, but I love to see the kids smile.”
With that, he placed it in the slot.
My jaw dropped.
I was overwhelmed.
My kids mumbled thanks.
I professed gratitude over and over again. It was all I could do.
More was going on inside. Did he know the impact he had on my life?
Mummy smiled. The kids smiled. Not because of a ride, because of kindness. There are people in the world who delight in making others smile. It’s all okay.
It was two dollars. Two dollars restored my faith in humanity. Re-established confidence in strangers. In decency.
Despite war, murder, kidnapping, and violence, there is a lot right with the world. Kids can still be kids. I don’t have to be apprehensive or overcautious.
There is still love.
There is still kindness.
There is still thankfulness.
So thank you, old man. Thank you for reminding me that most people are generous, compassionate, and good toward the least of these.