Monday, September 28, 2009

The Kindness of Strangers

My apologies for not posting anything for a while. The real world exploded with death in the family, new jobs and all the impedimenta of life. Something happened today which made me wonder about all of life's coincidences.

Every day I drive to work. It's around sixty k. each way so it's not a minor trip. It is mostly down country roads fortunately. Today I was about halfway to work when my car rattled and died. I was about 10k away from anywhere and so, without mobile 'phone cover, I resigned myself to walking to a mechanic.

I had barely gone ten metres when a car stopped and a woman got out. I realised with shock that it was my niece-in-law, Mel, whom I haven't seen since my brother in law, Andrew's, funeral. She travels even further than I do and in the opposite direction. She was early this morning with some time in hand. She drove me to the mechanic.

The mechanic turned up at the garage a few minutes later. He had a cancelled job so had time to go straight out to where I'd left the car. It was bad (new engine required, head gasket gone etc). This would take a week. He didn't have a courtesy car and there was no cab service within 20k. He was apologetic and really decent about it.

So once again, I started walking. Home.

Just for effect I threw my thumb out for a lift. A man stopped within thirty seconds and drove me halfway home. I thanked him, got out of the car and stated walking again. The thumb went out again. Thirty seconds later another car stopped and this driver took me to my front gate. Both men were unfailingly generous and really nice blokes.

I suppose the point of all this rambling is that, this morning, I met four good people, one after the other, all of whom went out of their way to help. For all the talk of a selfish society, I saw no evidence of it this morning. Only grace and friendship.

So thanks, Mel, Damian and the two drivers who picked up a middle-aged man wandering along a country road.