No One Has EVER Done This For Me

"No one has ever done something like this for me," the woman

I could make a million excuses for what had happened, but none
of them could justify how I acted.

It had been a few weeks since we first discovered Keith had
cancer.  The shock of it all was still fresh in my mind. 
There were times when a numbness came over me, perhaps a shield to
protect me from the affects of too much stress.  Other times I
lived right on the edge wondering, waiting for some bit of hope
to cling to.  But that day nothing seemed to be going right. 

We were waiting for some crucial test results regarding my son's
cancer.  I pulled into the parking lot and found the gate open
so I just drove through.  They had trouble with their system a
few times before so I thought nothing of it.  I parked and
headed into the building.

Several hours later, I decided to run to the store to pick up a
few things I would need for my stay over there at the hospital. 
They permitted parents to sleep there so we could be near our
children.  Not in a bed, but on a bench built in the window. 

I had so much on my mind that I never stopped to think about my
comfort.  I was just grateful to be there with him.

As I headed toward the exit of the parking lot, I noticed there
was a long line.  In my hurry to get back to Keith, I became
more than impatient with the situation.  I was becoming angry.
Finally, as I approached the tollbooth, I hurriedly explained
that I did not get a ticket when I came in that day. 

"I'm so sorry.  We've been having problems lately.  What time
did you come in?" the woman asked.

"What?" I replied.

"I need to know what time you came in, so that I can charge
you," she said.

"I can't even remember what day it is and you want me to know
what time I arrived here," I said angrily.

"Sir, I can't open the gate until..."

"My son is lying up there in a hospital bed.  He could be dying
from cancer and you want me to remember what time I arrived in
the parking lot?"

"Sir, I am sorry but..."

"I have no idea.  How sad this is that you stand there worried
about how many dollars I owe you and you have no concern for
what is happening to my son,"

I screamed at her.  "Here's five dollars.  Keep it. 
Now get me out of here!"

The gate went up and I drove off quickly.  When I arrived at the
store I couldn't even remember why I was there.  Still shaking
from the fury of my outburst, I wandered around inside the store
thinking about what I had just done. 

I tried to justify it a hundred times, but I knew deep in my
heart she didn't deserve what I had said.  I purchased a few
items and returned to the hospital.

Ashamed, I entered the lot and hurried into the building.

All I needed to do was see my son's face and the guilt of it all
came rushing over me.

"Did you get what you needed, Dad?" he asked.
"Ah, no.  There's one more thing I need to pick up," I said.
I went down to the gift shop and bought a small bouquet of

Walking out the front door, I nervously approached the ticket
booth across the road.

Still faced with a long line of cars, the woman looked up at me. 
The next car to exit paused a few feet away when they saw that
I was headed toward the booth.

"I need to ask you to forgive me.  There is no excuse for
the anger I aimed at you earlier.  You are just doing your job. 
Please accept these flowers," I said and then turned and walked away.

The woman stepped out of her booth in front of that same car. 

With my back toward her I heard, "Can I give you a hug?"

"Oh, Lord," I said perhaps thanking him for the compassion she
held in her heart.

"Yes, I would be honored," I said.

"No one has ever done something like this for me," the woman

There we stood in the drive way exit hugging.  Two strangers
whose lives crossed by chance.
  Two people blessed with

compassion by embracing forgiveness.

Who do you need to forgive today?



To the world, you may just be somebody...but to somebody, you may be the world.
Bill Wilson, Metro Ministries

In His Steps Ministries