The Kindness of Strangers
Updated: Oct 30, 2019
A friend of mine remarked one day that when he and his wife got
married, they agreed that he would make all the big decisions in
their marriage and she would make all the little ones. After a brief
pause, he went on to say that after 20 years of marriage, he’s yet
to make a big decision!
I was reminded that it’s the little things that make all the difference
recently when I experienced a random act of kindness from a total
stranger that that touched my heart in a wonderful way at an
The other day I found myself in our local hospital waiting for the
conclusion of a surgical procedure that my wife was undergoing.
While the surgery was successful and she is on the road to
recovery, the procedure took much longer that anyone
So much longer in fact that I found myself to be last person in the
waiting room that evening. By 11:00 PM all the other family
members awaiting the surgical procedures to conclude for their
loved ones had been called back to the post-op suite; and all of
the employees who staffed the waiting room and reception area
had gone home for the night.
As I sat there by myself a custodian came through the area,
tidying up the space one last time before he headed home.
Passing by me he nodded and asked if he could get me anything.
I thanked him, told him I’d be fine and that I was hopeful that my
wife’s procedure would be over soon. He wished me a good night
and said that he hoped that everything would turn out alright as
he left for the evening.
With his departure I experienced a feeling of loneliness heretofore
unfamiliar to me.
My wife had made the decision to have surgery earlier in the day
to deal with a chronic condition that had been bothering her for
some time. Once her decision was made, we assumed it would
be a day or two before her surgery would be scheduled, but we
Within two hours she was being wheeled into the operating room.
Now eight hours later, I found myself all alone in the surgical
reception area waiting and wondering about the outcome of the
procedure and how it would impact our lives going forward.
The days leading up to this point had been a rollercoaster of
emotions for both of us. Now, not knowing what the future held in
store for her had brought me to the brink of my feelings.
Suddenly, I felt a tap on my shoulder. Turning around I saw John,
the custodian who had wished me a good evening a few minutes
earlier. In his outstretched arms he held a blanket and a pillow.
Handing them to me he wished me a good night once more.
While I don’t fully understand why, as he walked away,
overwhelmed by this entirely unexpected random act of kindness
an unmistakable sense of peace came over me. Once again
reminding me that it’s the little things in life that make the big