Describe a moment of kindness, between you and someone else — loved one or complete stranger.
(The following story is based on true events. The names have been changed, not so much to protect the innocent, but to protect my faulty memory.)
Ann and her two friends had planned this trip for months. The three of them were in their sixties, widowed and aching for a good trip. Ann had always had an adventurous spirit about her. As a child she would look in amazement at a globe. She would give the globe a quick spin, close her eyes and put her index finger down to stop the spinning. She would then open her eyes and look to see where her finger had landed.
Each and every place it landed, Ann promised herself one day she would visit. She had heard stories of adventurers traversing the globe, discovering and exploring. When she was old enough, she read book after book telling of wild adventures.
For most of her life, however, Ann never realized her childhood dream. Instead, she had other adventures. She had met a boy, fell in love and had a family. She earned her degree and got a job. There was adventure enough, but never to one of those remote locations she had dreamt of as a child.
But now, after many years, she had her chance. And she took it.
Here she was with her two best friends. They had come with a larger group through several local churches on a mission trip to Haiti. The men in the group were building a new addition to a local medical facility and the ladies spent most of their days teaching children and young adults.
It was the third day of a five day trip. It was late in the day. Soon the sun would be setting. The group stressed that everyone be back at the facility before nightfall.
However, there was a problem. Ann and her two friends had traveled to a nearby village earlier in the day. The gentleman who had escorted them to the village had several other stops to make. He was scheduled to return in two hours. It had been three and there was no sign of him or the old, beat-up 1977 Chevy pickup he was driving.
Ann, what are we going to do?
I don’t know, Ann answered her friend, I guess the best thing to do is just stay put right here until Marco shows back up.
Ann felt just as uneasy as her two friends. She did not like being out this late, separated from the group, not knowing exactly where she was or how to get back to the facility.
Ann had spotted five men standing just off to their right in a small huddle. She had caught the men several times peering over at them. Each time the men would point in their direction, make a comment and laugh.
Ann wasn’t sure what language the men were speaking. She was sure that whatever the men were saying about her and her two friends, it was not good. She became increasingly uneasy. She had this feeling in the pit of her stomach that these men were dangerous and they meant her and her friends harm.
Ann knew the closer it got to sundown, the more dangerous their situation would become. Ann felt trapped. She did not know what to do. Should they continue to wait, hoping Marco, at any moment, would come racing up to snatch them to safety? Or, should they start walking in whichever direction they thought best to distance themselves from these men?
Ann felt as though her heart would beat out of her chest. She could tell her friends had noticed the men too, but neither dared mention them or acknowledge them.
Ann did the only thing she knew to do. She calmed herself, took a deep breath and began to pray. The closer the sun got to the horizon, the more fervent her prayers became.
By now the ladies were all holding hands and each of them were praying.
Just as the sun was about to peek below the horizon, the ladies heard a sound behind them. Ann was the first to turn and look. Standing behind them was a tall, slender man looking down on them and smiling.
It wasn’t one of the five who had been leering at them for the past hour or so. Ann had not seen this man before. At first, her heart jumped in her chest, but then, almost instantaneously, she felt a peace come over her. Somehow, in a split second, she realized this tall, smiling stranger meant her and her friends no harm.
Hello, the stranger offered, How are you lovely ladies this evening?
Ann and her friends could not find the words to speak; instead, they simply nodded and looked at one another.
My name is Faramundo, he said, You ladies appear to be lost?
Ann wasn’t sure just what to make of this man. His accent and demeanor were different from any she had encountered so far.
After a few seconds, Ann was able to nod her head yes.
Well then, Faramundo said with a smile, I would be more than happy to give you girls a lift. My car is just down the street.
Ann’s friends looked at her, unsure of whether to trust this stranger or not. Ann looked at them, looked back at the stranger and then over at the group of men who seemed to be closer than they were before.
Faramundo noticed Ann looking at the group of men, he put his hand on her arm, bent down and whispered in her ear, I can assure you, from what I have overheard those men saying, they mean you no good as soon as it is dark. I know I too am a stranger to you, but trust me, I will protect you.
Ann could not explain it, but something about how this man spoke made her trust him. She had a feeling he was the answer to her prayers.
Feeling as though they didn’t have much choice, she and her friends went with Faramundo. He drove them back to the facility. Several men in the group came running out of the facility, happy to see the three ladies. They had been worried for their safety, knowing they should have already returned.
Ann introduced Faramundo to the group, calling him her guardian angel.
Faramundo smiled, shook a few hands and said he must be going. Before Ann even realized what was happening the tall, smiling stranger was gone.
Well, that was quite the adventure, one of Ann’s friends exclaimed.
Yes, yes it was, Ann replied, It was quite an adventure.