There was a beautiful story shared recently by David Nasser at Northridge church in Plymouth Michigan recently that illustrated the beauty of staying connected to your heart, compassion and empathy in today’s world.
There was an elderly gentleman that was being pushed to his gate for a flight in his wheelchair. As he was being pushed through the airport he was getting looks from bystanders. He had a bit of a disheveled look. His hair was long and messed up, uncombed. His beard was long and there were chunks of food in his beard. He was wearing wrinkly pajamas and his eyes were bloodshot.
As he was being pushed through the airport people looked and judged, laughed and snickered. As he was strolled up to his gate the attention on him heightened as everyone waited to board their flight. The gate full of people waiting stared and judged.
One woman by the name of Beth Moore was waiting for the same flight looked and noticed him, and couldn’t help but continue to stare. It looked like this man was partying all night and had no decency to clean up and take care of himself. As she tried to look away she couldn’t, and neither could the rest of the gate.
As the woman continued to look at this man a small voice whispered to her to go and ask the man to comb his hair. Brushing it off as a nonsense thought she waited a bit longer but the thought kept coming back. Next, she tried to calculate how she would be perceived and what people would think of her. The entire plane she was about to board was already looking and judging this man. What would they think of me going up and combing his hair?
As the persistent thought kept coming back she decided to stop mentally calculating the outcome and just go with her gut feeling. As she approached the man she asked him “May I have the pleasure of combing your hair?” to which his response was “I can’t hear you.”
She thought to herself, God really has a sense of humor. Now I have to yell “May I have the pleasure of combing your hair?” and the entire gate was staring at this point. What would happen next? As she asked again in a louder tone the man said that she could and that he had a comb under his wheelchair.
She pulled his wheelchair back, locked it in and looked in a bag under his wheelchair and found a broken comb. As she began to comb his hair she struck up a conversation with him.
He shared “I’ve been in the hospital for many years and today the let me out to see my wife. She’s in a nursing home in another state, I’m flying to see her now and she’s dying. She’ll be gone in a few days and I was just thinking what will my bride think of how I look when she sees me?”
Moved by the man’s story and grateful she stepped forward and listened to her heart. She prepared him the best she could and sent him off.
The moral of the story is simple. We never know what people are going through in life. This man was sick and suffering himself and here was his opportunity to see his dying wife for the last time. The simple act of combing this man’s hair meant the world to him, as well as to her. The media, the pharmaceutical companies and all the fear pushed on us can create separation between us and these opportunities. We are human. We are love. We are meant to act in this manner and anytime we disconnect from our hearts we disconnect from the God within.
Small acts of kindness make a big difference, and we can either act in faith and boldness or let our ego which is run by fear and judgement from others control us. Your heart or your ego guides you. The choice is yours.
The story in video form:
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Watch Beth Moore Share Her Airport Story Here: