A simple bottle of water was enough

November 1, 2014 - 12:00am -- Living City

It was a hot day. I had just arrived in the big city after a two-hour train ride for a doctor’s appointment. I was travelling alone, and although the train ride was pleasant, it was a difficult one for me as I was still recovering from major brain surgery. When I got there, I had to take a taxi to reach the neurologist’s office.

This leg of the trip was much shorter, but it was much more painful because of the bumpy roads. The young driver wove quickly through the traffic. I was tempted to ask him to slow down and be more careful, knowing that if I mentioned the recent surgery he would understand. However, I remembered that we can find God in our brothers and sisters (see Ps. 36:9), so instead of demanding kindness, I decided to take the first step.

He seemed very tired, and I imagined him running back and forth in the torrid heat all day (without air conditioning), trying to get as many rides as possible. Instead of asking him to slow down, I eased the bumps by sitting firmly without leaning against the seat.

When we arrived at my destination, I thought, “What if I offer him the water bottle I just bought?” It is unusual to offer something to the driver, but I realized it could be an act of love.

I asked if he wanted the water, and turning around with a big smile, he thanked me, “I really needed water, but I could not stop! Today is my first day back at work after an operation. I still feel weak, but I could not stay at home any longer, if I wanted to keep my job. Your water is a gift.”

I could not believe it! Both of us were recovering from surgery, somewhat in pain, and both were sharing something of ourselves. I wished him the best in his recovery, and he reciprocated.

He left, but his smile stayed in my heart. When I entered the neurology waiting room and saw so many others suffering, I knew that I had built a bridge with at least one. A simple bottle of water was enough!

— MR, New York