Tuesday, November 13, 2012

You Have Done It Unto Me

here's one last post about our trip to europe.  we took a train from villach, austria, to vienna--the last leg of a trip that began in rome, took us to venice, and then to villach.  we arrived at the meidling station in vienna around 7:30 in the evening.  as we left the train wondering about finding a taxi to our apartment, another passenger struck up a conversation with the other male member of our foursome.  this passenger was an american who worked in vienna, and she realized that as american tourists we might need some assistance.  though she had to go considerably out of her way, she graciously escorted us toward the taxi stand.  before we got there, she ran into a security guard for the station and explained to him in fluent german that we needed to find a taxi that would hold all four of us and our considerable collection of luggage.  with a smile, he assured her that he would take care of us, and with our thanks she was on her way to catch the u-bahn train to her home.  the security guard led us to another exit down the street a little way from the taxi stand, called to another guard to send the needed taxi down to us from the taxi queue and waited with us as a large station-wagon taxi pulled down to where we waited.  he had a quick conversation with the taxi driver, made certain that the driver understood my less-than-perfect german, helped load our bags in the taxi, and turned to go back to his post, as i yelled our thanks to his departing figure.

as we piled into the taxi, i conversed in halting german with the driver and thought about how fortunate we had been that a fellow american took time out of her long day to help us by delivering us to a kind man who saw that our needs were met.  it would have been easy for this lady to have shrugged and gone on her way home with good wishes directed our way.  it would have been easy for the security guard to have told her that it wasn't his job to find taxis for american tourists with too much luggage.  both of these strangers saw that our needs were met, making our arrival in vienna after a long day of travel much easier than it would have been had we been left to sort our the arrangements on our own.

how often we wish others the best without taking action to make the best a reality for them.  my prayer is that each of us, like these two thoughtful strangers, will remember that in doing kind deeds for our brothers and sisters, it is as if we had done these deeds for jesus.  shalom.

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