This is a thought-provoking story, one that I’m sure will stay with me a long time. It definitely makes me look at those strangers around me in a different light: you never know what they might be going through.
Many years ago, I was on an hospital elevator with a minister I knew. A somber man got on with us. He looked straight ahead, deep in thought. Attempting to make conversation, the minister said, “Smile, it can’t be that bad.”
The man’s expression never changed. In a low voice he remarked, “My son just died.”
The minister and I were both shocked. As he stammered an apology, all three of us burst in to tears. We hugged the man, offered shocked condolences, and offered to make phone calls for him. The minister got off and went with him.
I’ve never forgotten, and suspect neither of them has either. You just never know what a person is dealing with.