8: Six Little Words

8: Six Little Words

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Devotional Stories for Tough Times

Six Little Words

By Robin A. Bridges

“‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”

~Mark 12:31

Dearest Stranger,

I write this story because our paths may never meet again. If they do intersect, it is likely I will not recognize you, and it is equally probable you will not recognize me. Our paths crossed for a mere five seconds — not long enough to take in the details of your face, the color of your hair, or even the make and model of your car with any certainty. But for that blink of time, during those few seconds that it took for the traffic signal to turn from red to green, you profoundly impacted my life, and I will always remember you as the stranger who loves me.

Yes, LOVE. It is a strange word to use when talking about a stranger. But that is exactly what I felt flow from your heart and into mine as I sat gripping the steering wheel, tears streaming down my face, wondering how I would live my life with the horribly painful empty space that was growing wider and deeper every second as my father, my best friend, slipped away from me forever. I could not imagine life without him. How could I go on living and not talk to him, hear his laughter, or share a cup of coffee on the porch, which was our daily routine? It was too hard, too excruciating. I was not strong enough to say goodbye. Yet, it was his time, and God was calling Dad home. So I sat there at that light, white-knuckled and trembling, with tears pouring from my eyes.

That is when I met you, the loving stranger in the left lane, with the kind eyes and gentle voice. You did not know me or what I was crying about, but you could feel my pain and wanted to do something to make it better. I may not know your name or remember what you look like, but I will always remember your words, “You have a good day, okay?” Six little words, a simple sentence — such a little thing that you may not even remember it. But for me they meant the world, expressed with warmth, concern, and genuine love from one human being to another. Those words gave me the strength I needed to drive to the hospital that day and see my dad through his final hours.

I have no doubt that when I had no strength, God delivered you, a stranger with a heart full of love, to lift me up and pull me through. So, when I reflect back to this trying time, I am thankful for God, my family, and YOU. I thank you with all my heart. I will always remember those six little words and what they did for me that day — and still do today.

Eternally yours,

Stranger

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