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Little Moments of Joy

ďTherefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone Ė especially to those in the family of faith.Ē1

A taxi driver shared the following words:

Because I drive the night shift, my cab often becomes a moving confessional. I encounter people whose lives amaze me, some ennoble me, others make me laugh and sometimes make me weep. However, none touched me more than a woman I picked up late one August night.

Responding to a call from a small brick fourplex in a quiet part of town, I assumed I was being sent to pick up some partiers or a worker heading to an early shift at some factory in the industrial part of town.

When I arrived at 2:30 a.m., the building was dark except for a single light in a ground floor window. Under these circumstances, many drivers would just honk once or twice, then drive away.

Unless a situation smelled of danger, I always go to the door. This passenger might be someone who needs my assistance, I reasoned to myself. So, I walked to the door and knocked.

"Just a minute", answered a frail, elderly voice. After a long pause, the door opened. A small woman in her late 80s stood before me. The apartment looked as if no one had lived in it for years. All the furniture was covered with sheets.

"Would you carry my bag to the car?" she asked. I took the bag and then turned to assist her. She took my arm and we walked slowly toward the curb.

She kept thanking me for my kindness. "Itís nothing", I told her. "I just try to treat my passengers the way I would want my mother treated."

"Oh, youíre such a good boy", she said.

When we got in the cab, she gave me an address and then asked, "Could you drive through downtown?"

"Itís not the shortest way," I quickly answered.

"Oh, I donít mind," she said. "Iím in no hurry. Iím on my way to a hospice."

I looked in the rearview mirror. Her eyes were glistening. "I donít have any family left," she continued. "The doctor says I donít have very long."

I quietly reached over and shut off the meter. "What route would you like me to take?" I asked.

For the next two hours, we drove through the city. She showed me the building where she had once worked as an elevator operator. We drove through the neighborhood where she and her husband had lived when they were newlyweds. She also had me pull up in front of a furniture warehouse that had once been a ballroom where she had gone dancing as a girl.

As the first hint of the sun creasing the horizon, she suddenly said, "Iím tired. Letís go now."

We drove in silence to the address she had given me. Two orderlies came out to the cab as soon as we pulled up. They were concerned and intent, watching her every move. They must have been expecting her.

I opened the trunk and took the small suitcase to the door. The woman was already seated in a wheelchair.

"How much do I owe you?" she asked, reaching into her purse.

"Nothing," I replied.

"You have to make a living," she answered.

"There are other passengers," I responded and almost without thinking, I bent and gave her a hug.

She held onto me tightly. "You gave an old woman a little moment of joy," she said. "Thank you!"

I squeezed her hand, then walked into the dim morning light. Behind me, a door shut. It was the sound of the closing of a life. I didnít pick up any more passengers that shift. I drove aimlessly, lost in thought.

What if that woman had gotten an angry driver, or one who was impatient to end his shift? What if I had refused to take the run, or had honked once, then driven away? I donít think Iíve done anything more important in my life.2

Weíre conditioned to think that our lives revolve around great moments. However, great moments often catch us unaware - beautifully wrapped in what others may consider as small insignificant moments. Let us always be ready to share kindness with those God places in our path.

Suggested prayer: Dear God, there is such a great lack of love and kindness in our world today. Many times, we rush from here to there thinking only of our schedules and interests. I ask that you give me your eyes to see the opportunities where I can share kindness and little moments of joy with others, and in so doing lead others to you. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. In Jesusí name, amen.

  1. Galatians 6:10 (NLT).


All articles on this website are written by
Richard (Dick) Innes unless otherwise stated.