Yesterday as I stood in line at the grocery store, everyone seemed to be in a post-Thanksgiving hurry. I only had a few things, so I was in the “10 items or less” line. Several people were in it as well and we jostled around each other as best we could.
There were two men in front of me; the first man was elderly and was paying for his purchase in dimes, nickels and pennies. His hands were trembling, and the cashier was very kind to him and patiently helped him count out his coins. I could hear the woman behind me sighing impatiently.
The fellow behind the elderly man looked to be about my age, and he was watching the man shakily counting his last bit of change. He asked the older man if he needed more money. The man smiled at him and said he was fine. They chatted for a while, and both smiled. I was too choked up to tell the man who offered to pay for the older gentleman’s order that he was my hero in that moment.
The whole encounter was like a beautiful grace note at the end of a symphony. Yesterday was Black Friday, and I can only imagine the chaos of the day. Just seeing someone actively caring about another person was a sweet reminder of our humanity. Who knows what circumstances that elderly man was in. But the man who offered to help him treated him with respect and kindness and there was an instant warmth between them as they talked.
The younger man gave the elderly man a sweet gift of kindness and comfort. A little thing to be sure, sort of like pocket change. Sometimes a little thing can mean much.