“Do to others as you would have them do to you.” –Luke 6:31
My husband Taylor and I were married a few years ago, and for our honeymoon we took an amazing trip to Hawaii. A few months prior, Taylor had won first-class airline tickets in a charity raffle at his office, so we were so excited to get to use these for our special trip. After spending several days basking in the sun, eating incredible seafood and enjoying our time free from responsibilities, it was time to head home.
As we were getting ready to board our flight from Kauai to LA, I noticed an elderly couple being taken aboard our same flight in wheelchairs. I thought to myself how wonderful it was that despite their age and limited mobility, they’d still been able to visit such a beautiful place together.
We took off at 9 p.m. island time and we were scheduled to land at 5 a.m. California time. I was very grateful to be able to stretch out a bit, and I hoped to get at least a few of hours of sleep before we reached the mainland. With my new husband sleeping soundly next to me, I began to drift off when I saw the same gentleman I’d noticed earlier attempting to get back to his seat from the restroom at the front of the plane. His feet shuffled and he struggled to reach from one seat back to the next to steady himself. I looked around at the flight attendants chatting, the dad of two sleeping kids playing a game on his iPad and the business traveler untying his dress shoes, and I couldn’t believe that one of them wouldn’t get up to help this man. I watched him slowly reach his seat and immediately felt a sting of regret for not getting up to help him myself. Why had I been so quick to judge those who saw exactly what I saw and did exactly what I did, which was nothing?
I stayed awake and promised myself that the next time he needed to get up, I would help him. When the time came, I got up to meet him in the aisle and extended my arms toward him. He grabbed onto my forearms while I held his arms steady and slowly we made the walk back to his seat. Once I helped him sit down, he held onto my hands for a few extra seconds and quietly said, “Thank you.”
Oftentimes we think that in order for something to be considered an “act of kindness”, it has to be a grand, elaborate gesture. But in reality, God’s vision for His people is kindness and that just takes doing what you can, where you can, with what you have.
Morgan Jones, Director of Welcoming Ministry