I love to come here for a cup of coffee in the mornings. Especially the mornings where I don't have to be anywhere, which are few and far between. On those mornings, I can just sit, have my coffee, read, watch the world around me. I love those mornings. This was one of those mornings.
As I sat there, I was watching the rain outside. It had been pretty messy the last couple days. In walked a young guy, thirties probably. Immediately behind him, so close that the younger held the door for him, came an older man. Sixties, maybe seventies. Well over six feet tall. He enters the establishment, and immediately as the wet soles of his shoes hit the freshly waxed floors, they come directly out from under him. He falls...hard on that concrete floor. He lets out a scream as he goes down. And, almost simultaneously, begins to moan after he hits.
The younger guy turns around immediately to help. From the floor, grabbing his legs, the older man exclaims that he has had two knee replacements. He literally can’t bear the pain. Nor can he get up off the floor. The man who came through the door first goes down to the floor with him. He is all in. “How can I help? What do you need? Stay there…I will get it.”
He’s dressed for work. Probably has a boss that expects him to be there at a certain time. Not a minute late. His mind could have gone lots of different directions. He token checked on the man, now he could go about his business. After all, who would expect a total stranger to stay there until that man got back up? I mean, he could be there all day moaning, groaning, and complaining. The world isn’t going to stop because you fell down. Right?
I watched that young guy stand there...five, ten minutes. Until the man was ready to get up. And then he put his hand forward. The older gentleman, dressed in a suit, took hold. He couldn’t pull him to his feet. The younger grabs a chair. “Push up on this chair and I will pull you up by your other hand,” he says. It still takes another minute but he gets him to his feet.
The older man says, “A lot of trouble for a cup of coffee,” as he starts to walk around, holding his back, reaching to his knees, moving so slow I am wondering if he is going to every make it to the barista.
The young man asks one more time, “Are you sure you are ok?” The reply, “I’ll be fine. Thank you.” The younger turns to head for his coffee. He orders, pays with his debit card. Takes his coffee and then gives the last bit of cash he has out of his wallet to the cashier, “Put this toward his coffee, please,” he says as he looks about thirty feet over to the man just now beginning to really move. He doesn’t say anything. No credit needed. He takes his coffee and heads out the door. As a Good Samaritan would. As Jesus would.
Matter of fact, knowing Jesus and His parables, He is probably telling that story to someone today, with pride for that young man. After all, Jesus would rather live a good sermon than preach one any day.