It is easy to look at people and make quick judgments about them, their present and their past, but we would be amazed at the pain and tears a single smile hides. What a person shows to the world is only one tiny facet of the iceberg hidden from sight and more often than not, it is lined with cracks and scars that go all the way to the foundation of the person’s soul. Never judge, learn to respect and acknowledge the feelings of others.

You can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him. 
James D. Miles

Let us be happy and feel blessed when we have the opportunity to help someone because God is answering that person's prayer through us. We have to remember that our purpose on earth is not to get lost in the dark but to be a light to others, so that they may find way through us. Here’s a beautiful narrative inspired by the writings of James D. Miles about a random act of kindness that changed not only the life of recipient but also the giver.

Sometimes the strongest among us are the ones who smile through silent pain, cry behind closed doors, and fight battles nobody know about.

Everyone respects and helps the millionaire, the famous, the boss, those with beauty and brains. What about the bum on the street?

This is a real story. James was parked in front of the church cleaning out his Jeep and was waiting on someone.

Coming his way from across the street was what society would consider a bum. From the looks of him, he had no car, no home, no clean clothes, and no money. There are times when we feel generous but there are other times that we just don't want to be bothered.

It was one of those "don't want to be bothered times." "I hope he doesn't ask me for any money," James thought. He didn't. 

He came and sat on the wall in front of the bus stop to wait on the bus.

After a few minutes he spoke. "That's a very pretty Jeep," he said. He was ragged but he had an air of dignity around him. His messy beard keep more than his face warm. James said, "thanks," and continued cleaning out the Jeep.

He sat there quietly as he worked. The expected plea for money never came. As the silence between them widened something inside James said, "Ask him if he needs any help."  James was sure that he would say "yes" but he held true to the inner voice.

"Do you need any help?" James asked.

He answered in three simple but profound words that James will never forget. We often look for wisdom in great men and women. We expect it from those of higher learning and accomplishments. James expected nothing but an outstretched grimy hand. 

He spoke the three words that shook James. "Don't we all?" he said.

James was feeling high and mighty, successful and important, above a bum in the street, until those three words hit him like a twelve gauge shotgun. Don't we all?

We needed help. Maybe not for bus fare or a place to sleep, but we needed help.

He reached his wallet and gave him not only enough for bus fare, but enough to take a cab anywhere in the city and get food and shelter for the day.

Those three little words still ring true. No matter how much we have, no matter how much we have accomplished, we need help too.

No matter how little we have, no matter how loaded we are with problems, even without money or a place to sleep, we can give help.

If you want to grow in love for others, become a master at listening. It's such a practical way to honor others.

Even if it is just a compliment, we can give that. We never know when we may see someone that appears to have it all. They are waiting on us to give them what they don't have. A different perspective on life, a glimpse at something beautiful, a respite from daily chaos that only we can see through a torn world.

Maybe the man was just a homeless stranger wandering the streets. Maybe he was more than that. Maybe he was sent by a power that is great and wise, to minister to a soul too comfortable in themselves. Maybe God looked down, called an Angel, dressed him like a bum and then said, "Go minister to that man cleaning the Jeep, that man needs help."

Don't we all? If we could look into each other's hearts, and understand the unique challenges each of us undergoes, we would treat each other much more gently, with more love, patience, tolerance, and care.

By Tim Pedrosa

Have you had a kindness shown? Pass it on!  It was not given for thee alone, pass it on! Let it travel down the years, let it wipe another’s tears, until in heaven the deed appears. Pass it on!–
Henry Burton