May 17th – “Matthew’s Story”

A couple of days ago I was out for a walk and I ran into my friend and neighbour, Matthew. Matthew, who is intellectually delayed, works as a volunteer at one of Barrie’s Retirement homes. He was looking downcast when I saw him and after he told me his story, I can well understand why. He had taken his bike to work earlier that day, and left it in the courtyard of the Home. While he was working, someone stole it. It was his only means of transportation. He felt sad and betrayed.

Tonight, I ran into him again. This time he was cheerful. He told me that some of the people who worked at the Retirement Home had gotten together to get him a new bike.  He was choked up as he told me the story. Matthew knows that I’m a minister and was quick to tell that this gesture of love was proof that God exists.

Few outside of those who read this blog will know of this act of kindness. It won’t be on the news. Instead we will hear stories that frighten and upset us, and we will be tempted to paint humanity with the same broad brush, as being unkind, insensitive and selfish. Matthew’s story is a poignant reminder that for all that is wrong with the world, there is so much more that is right. And for every act of inhumanity that is shared on the news, there are a million acts of kindness and sacrifice that we will never hear about, but they will move hearts and enrich lives.

Mother Teresa gave us these gentle and inspiring words to guide us:

“Be the living expression of God’s kindness; kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile.”

God bless those whose acts of kindness define God in the lives of others.