“I’m only human,”she said as she pulled her arms around me.
Cocooned within the care of a stranger, I watched guilty tears mix with sweat and dot her tanned arm. How dare I? So much hurt in the world, so much pain…mine is just a drop in the ocean.
“I know, sometimes the most beautiful days are too much. I feel like that. I’ve had the worst four years of my life.”
I didn’t ask why.
In respectful reply she kept her silence too. Why, isn’t important. ‘Why’ is simply the plug in the full bathtub of tears. Don’t pull that plug.
“I saw you sitting there and I said to myself; ‘That lady really needs a hug.’”
I don’t know her name. I don’t know where she came from. I have no idea who sent her. But I am so grateful she was there, and she decided to stop and be human with me.
We waited for a while. I didn’t say much. I couldn’t really. I thanked her for her kindness. I thanked her for her instinct. And then I picked up my feet and continued running along the path and up the hill.
My head was full of the pain and suffering of others – Boston bombings, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria – and the nondescript but very real pain of everyday people. The woman whose husband has abandoned her, the child who’s lost her mother, the man who lost his friend. The alcoholic father, the mentally ill lover, those who died too soon. The horrific accidents, the randomness of fate.
A woman my age was out running the other day and in a freak accident an elderly driver drove off the road and killed her.
So much much pain, so much loss…
There’s so much evil in this world, but when you take your attention off the evil, then you can see the helpers, the healers…
Those who are only human too.
Thank God for them. With their hugs, and their love and their courage to reach out to strangers and share being human.
NB/ Check out the Free Hugs Campaign. I think it’s worth it. It might even save a life.