The other day, I had a pain in my right knee. What started as a small discomfort suddenly took alarming proportions as I could neither walk, nor stand, nor even sit up properly. Whatever position I took intensified the pain all the more. I spent the night in total agony. The next day, my son dropped me off at the emergency care unit of the city hospital before driving to work. He asked me to give him a call as soon as it was over and he would come for me. The sympathetic doctor, a lady with a ready reassuring smile, told me all would be well. She carefully examined the x-ray images and told me she didn’t see anything alarming. That was quite some music to my ear even though I would have wished it were a balm to my knee. She gave me some pain killers that took the edge off the pain. She wrote a prescription of the medication to buy and wished me well. I literally dragged my right leg behind me out of her office. As I was hobbling towards the door, a young man, who was sitting at a table a distance away, seemingly quite involved in his cellphone, suddenly dropped his phone on the table and rushed to the door, which he flung open for me. I thanked him for his gesture and he said there was no problem, and wished me a quick recovery. I don’t think he realised what comfort I drew from his act.
The next day, a Sunday, we arrived at the church door only to find that there was no space to park nearby. My son said it was better for me to wait for him at the church door and he would help me into the the church as soon as he parked his car. I decided I would walk up the five or six steps leading to the church door on my own. I pulled myself up one painful step at a time till I reached the last landing. It was then that a young boy, nine or ten years old, who had been watching me come up the steps, ran to the church door and flung it open for me. I thanked him and he said “No sweat!” and wished me a quick recovery. I also took great comfort from his action.
Sometimes simple gestures, like opening the door for someone, especially when they are hurting, can have a deep soothing effect. What of you? Have you opened the door for someone today? It does not necessarily have to be the physical door to a house or to a car. What of the door of your heart to someone who is hurting? What of the door of your ear to someone yearning to be heard? What of the door of a smile? Yes, a simple smile. How often have you smiled today and said ‘good morning’ or ‘good afternoon,’ or ‘thank you’ to someone? With our busy lives, we often fail to slow down long enough to see, or hear, or listen to someone who may be yearning for us to open a door to let them in. Take the time today to open a door to someone even, or especially, someone you may be meeting for the first time.