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Mini-Investment, Mega-Payback – Commuter Shuffle

Crowding for BusKey Bible Verse:  The Lord’s servants …must be kind to everyone …and be patient with difficult people.  – 2 Timothy 2:24

Bonus Reading:  Ephesians 4:31-32

Hurrying home after work, I entered New York’s Port Authority bus terminal, briefcase in one hand, newspaper in the other.  The usual crowd was lined up behind the escalators that take suburban passengers to their buses.

Just as I got to the head of the line, a hard-faced, middle-aged woman came up from my side, shoved in front of me, planted her elbow in my stomach, and stepped onto the escalator. Removing her elbow, I said with elaborate sarcasm, “Forgive me. I didn’t mean to shove you.”

As she turned and looked me in the eye, her face seemed to fall apart.  “I don’t understand,” she said with apology and shock.  “Why are you so nice to me? I was really rude—I shouldn’t have shoved in line like that.”

I was at a loss for words.  The woman had reacted to my counterfeit display of love as if it were real, and appeared transformed.  I began to envision this woman as a person who’d been fighting all her life for a place in line.

Humiliated by the pettiness of my first reaction and overwhelmed by the effect it had produced, I gathered my wits enough to mumble, “It doesn’t hurt to be nice to people.”  Then I ran headlong for my bus.

—Bruce Larson in The Edge of Adventure

My Response: A time when I saw kindness melt hard-heartedness was …

Adapted from The Edge of Adventure (Word, 1974)

Prayer for the Week:  Fill me with Your Spirit, Lord, so that Your love will overflow to others in thoughtful actions.

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