11/7/08

I saw four angels today--

I will remember today not because it is a grand election day, but because I saw angels.

Coming from the library, avoiding the soggy, orange-grey leaves piled on the path, I headed to class. The rain that suctioned the leaves to the ground pelted lightly on my nose and cheeks. As I looked up from my shoes moving one in front of the other, I saw a student in one of those automatic/electric wheelchairs, with a blind-dog guiding him on his right side.

As he rounded a corner on his right, he turned too sharply and the thin grey wheel fell off the sidewalk. The chair was tipped; he was stuck--a support on the wheelchair held up his head, and the light patter of the rain accumulated on his face. He could not use his arms to wheel the chair back on the sidewalk. He could not turn his head to shield his face from the rain. His dog aimlessly paced near the wheel.

I quickened my step to where he was, with a hesitant start to help. As I got closer, I slowed down, thinking what I would do once I approached him. I could not lift him. I could get there and look around for someone that might help, I could recognize the need for help... My momentary hesitation and doubt ceased with the interruption of a student on a scooter who immediately veered toward the helpless man. From behind me, another young man passed me as if in a race, and dropped his backpack on the rain-soaked ground next to the helpless dog. At the same time, another student came from the right and briskly made his way to the wheelchair.
Of the three, one asked, "Are you stuck?" And before an answer was given, six hands approached the chair ready to help.

"Yeah I am stuck," he said, and in a few moments he was back on the sidewalk, and then with a sense of balance insisted: "Thank you."

"Have a good day, man," one helper said, lightly patting him on the shoulder.

Then they all dispersed--the student in the wheelchair rolling safely along, with eyes leashed to his side.

The three young men departed, each going his own way--resuming his life, and resuming his previous thoughts so disconnected from this Samaritan act, but now engraved in his hands, and recorded in heaven.

4 comments:

Sky said...

Good post, Katie. This is what I meant when I said, "Kindness is too far up the abstraction ladder. Try to define it in the concrete detail of a real happening. Show, don't tell." I'm always watching for examples of kindness because even though we have the staged Hallmark variety, I honestly seldom see it around us, which is a sad commentary on us because we should have it spilling over the top edges of our society. Nice capture of a good moment. And great to see you finally on the Blog.

Chan said...

Hurrah for Katie blogging.

iBo said...

welcome aboard :)

Natorade said...

I loved this! Well, I love it. It made me want to scramble up to him too! Nice image.