The plane was crowded. While there were a few, a flight attendant, possibly a passenger that I thought I had seen before, to my knowledge I did not know anyone. Every seat was taken. As looked, wondering, in and among the 300 faces, I knew the reality of being alone in a crowd. It was not all bad; I could use the time to work, think, and reflect. As my mind drifted to those I enjoy spending time with I realized that as different as they are, they do share much in common.
Each cares about the other. It usually extends beyond those they call friends. They care about those that have less. They do something about those in need. There is an action-based attitude of helping whoever happens to be around him/her. Random conversations come to my mind.
“Are you lost? Could we help you find where you are going?” A question asked of two backpackers staring at map on a quiet neighborhood street.
“Are you ok? Would you like to use my mobile to call road service?” A question asked of an unknown biker standing beside his bike.
“I’ll call the last number on this mobile while you take her to the restroom. Can you”, looking to another, “open her bag and see if she had ID with her?” An instruction from a waiter at a restaurant taking charge to a group of caring observers trying to help a woman who had been abandoned (long stem rose left on the table) and had too much to drink (she could not stand and did not seem to remember her name or where she was).
For these friends I have in my life, thank-you. To God, a word of thanksgiving and a comment; “These God-chosen lives all around – what splendid friends they make!” (Psalm 16.3)
As I recognize the thread of compassion in others, I find myself holding a gift of hope. You and I can be compassionate hand, feet, and ears for others. We can make a different. Hope can live in our action.