And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.’ Matthew 25:40 (NRSV)
It looked like my husband and I were going to have all three seats to ourselves when at the last minute an older lady was brought to our row to sit in the window seat next to me.
My husband stood up into the aisle of the jet. I began to do the same but she started to come into the row.
Smiling with my hand up I said, “Wait just a sec. Let me get out first,” She proceeded to pat me on the head and speak a foreign language. It took her a moment to figure out my hand signals, but soon she stepped back.
One of the attendants said she speaks Portuguese and asked if we did??
Quickly before we took off I pulled up Google Translator on my phone and typed.
“Hi, my name is Susan.”
” Oi meu nome é Susan”
I smiled, showed her my phone screen. She smiled said something and patted me on the head again. (I have no idea what that means, but I hope it’s good. LOL)
Just as we started to take off she brought out her rosary beads.
Ah…a fellow believer. Thanks, Lord.
We did some universal sign language. The OK sign. The smile. The nod of the head. Thumbs up.
With a quizzical look while pointing to my pretzels I was able to tell the flight attendant that was her choice. Even showed her the little place to tear the package to get to them.
Traveling alone in a strange land and unable to communicate can be difficult, even scary.
I hope my gestures made her feel more comfortable.
As we deplaned I received another head pat.
I’m assuming it’s a custom from her culture.
Later I saw her being wheeled through the terminal. She smiled and gave me a big wave…I had made a friend.
Let mutual love continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it. Hebrews 13:1-2 (NRSV)
When we were in Italy last year we were lost in the hills of the Tuscany Region. We stopped at a small resort and asked the proprietor for directions. He did not speak English.
Holding his finger up in the air as if to say, “Wait,” he took off. Soon he returned with a guest that spoke Italian and English.
He told her the directions and then she translated them.
Video of exchange. (Poor camera work on my part…sorry)
Somewhere in Tuscany
Reaching outside one’s comfort zone to help another person.
You don’t need to travel to a distant land to find an opportunity to show kindness to another soul.
Reach out to your neighbor, co-worker, or the person in the grocery store line.
Take time to pass some kindness forward. You may be entertaining an angel.
Susan Werthem is a Bible study leader, speaker and author.
She takes the Word of God and shares His truth in a humorous, unique and insightful way.
To contact Susan to plan a retreat or seminar Click here.
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