As an alumnus of a Jesuit institution the phrase men and women for others is very common to me. Sometimes as we go along our daily lives it is hard to remember this and to put aside the craziness of your everyday life in order to help someone else. Last week I had the opportunity to do just this.
So I’ll fill you in on a secret, if my kid is beyond exhausted and won’t nap at home I get into the car and go for a drive. It isn’t the only way she will nap but if I haven’t tired her out early in the day this is usually a sure way of having one hour of quiet time. Last Tuesday I set out for our usual route and ended up down a residential area near the lake. I had a car pull over to let me go by them. I just figured they were trying to park along the road and began to pull around them. As I passed I could see the elderly gentleman waving at me. I pressed on the brakes, reversed a bit and returned to where I could hear him. The man was traveling with a female companion (presumably his wife). He looked approximately 80 years old and she in her mid 70s. He asked me if I could help him as they were lost and were trying to reach Ontario Shores (a centre for mental health sciences) which was about 10 minutes away. He explained they were from a town about 100 miles away. I told the man he needed to get back onto Bayly Street, to which he replied an emphatic “YES,” and I would lead him there. As I led the man through this residential area I began to think of my own parents and my in-laws and what if it was them who were in this situation. So I found myself driving down the road to Ontario Shores. When I pulled into the street that the Centre is on I rolled down my window and waved for the couple to pass me. The gentleman and his companion both thanked me profusely and he said to me, “I’ll say one for you in church this week.” I thanked him very much and wished them a good day.
It amazes me how this small gesture, 10 minutes out of my day, would get me on this man’s prayer list. I do believe in the power of prayer and figure we can use all the help we can get. I’m glad on that sunny Tuesday, I chose to stop and not stay in my own little world. I’m glad that I chose to live the model men and women for others.