An expectant mother comes across a group of teens bullying a man in a park and rescues him. Years later, when she least expects it, he returns the favor.
Diana was on top of the world. She was engaged to a wonderful man, and she was seven months pregnant. The happy family she had longed for all her life was finally within her reach.
Diana had gone shopping for baby clothes during her lunch break, and now she was taking a quiet stroll through a nearby park, enjoying an ice cream. Life was perfect, Diana thought, and that was when she heard a scream.
Just ahead of her, through the trees, she glimpsed a group of people standing around a park bench. As she came closer, she noticed that four teens were standing around a man with a menacing attitude.
Diana heard their mocking voices: “Get lost, dirtbag! We don’t need trash like you hanging around this park!”
“Yeah!” sneered another voice. “My baby sister plays around here! I don’t want dirty pervs like you hanging around!”
An act of kindness can transform a life.
“Please,” said the man the teens were surrounding, showing them a brown paper package. “I’m not a perv! Look! See? I just come here to eat my lunch…”
Diana saw one of the teens step forward and shove the man. The paper packet spilled on the ground and out tumbled a sandwich and two apples.
One of the teens immediately stomped on the sandwich to the man’s obvious distress. “That’s my food!” the man cried. “I worked hard for the money to buy it!”
The teen grinned. “Too bad, dirtbag! You’ll go hungry today!” That was when Diana recognized the loudest and boldest of the teens. He was the son of her next-door neighbor!
She stepped forward and cried, “Stop it, Tom!”
Tom turned around and saw Diana. The ugly sneer was immediately wiped from his face. “Oh!” he gasped. “Miss Lamb?”
“What do you think you’re doing, Tom?” Diana asked. “Leave this man alone!”
“But, Miss Lamb…” Tom whined. “He’s a vagrant, and he SMELLS, and he’s right across from the playground!”
“I’m not a vagrant,” the man said. “I work at the construction site across the road. I come here because of all the dust…”
“You’ve been persecuting this poor man because he’s ‘dirty’?” asked Diana angrily. “You boys should be ashamed of yourselves! And you, Tom. You can bet your mother is going to hear about this!”
“Please, Miss Lamb,” Tom gasped. “Please don’t tell my mom!”
“Get out of here,” Diana said angrily. “Don’t ever let me catch you bullying someone again!”
The four boys ran off, looking frightened. Diana knew, that like any bully, they were cowards at heart.
The man the boys had been picking on was kneeling down, trying to salvage his lunch. “Come on,” Diana said gently. “I’ll buy you lunch.”
“Thank you, miss,” the man said politely. “But you don’t have to do that! You’ve already spared me a lot of grief!”
“I’m not taking no for an answer,” Diana said firmly, and she took the man’s arm and guided him to a nearby takeaway where she bought him a huge burger and fries with all the trimmings.
The man introduced himself. “I’m Paul,” he said. “Paul Karte. I’m from Seattle. I have a degree in business management, and I wanted to find a job down here.”
“I had some savings that were supposed to last me six months, but I was robbed. So now I work at construction, and they let me sleep in the shed.”
He shrugged, and tears filled his eyes. “The boys are right, I do smell bad. My poor mom would be horrified if she could see me now.”
“Nonsense,” said Diana firmly. “A lot of people would have run back home with their tail between their legs, but you didn’t give up. Your mom would be very proud of you!”
Paul’s face lit up with a huge smile. “Thank you,” he said to Diana. “You have no idea how much that means to me! Your fiancé is a lucky man!”
Diana laughed. “I’ll be sure to tell him,” she said.
And that night she did, but her fiancé wasn’t impressed. “You talk to a homeless man in the park?” he asked. “That’s dumb!”
Diana and her fiancé ended up having a row, and unfortunately, it was the first of many. As it turned out, he wasn’t quite as nice as Diana had imagined him to be, and one day he just walked out.
Three weeks later, Diana welcomed her baby girl on her own. As a single mom, she was lucky. She had a good job and her own apartment, and with a little help from her friends, she managed.
As little Sarah grew, Diana had to make sacrifices. She wanted her girl in the best schools, so she cut on her insurance. She never imagined she’d need more than the basic policy…
When Sarah was seven, Diana started feeling very ill, and she was diagnosed with a severe kidney condition. Her only choice was dialysis because she certainly couldn’t afford a kidney transplant.
That meant that Diana spent four evenings a week at the hospital, and Sarah went along with her and did her homework. It all took a toll on Diana’s health.
Her nephrologist begged her to come up with the money, but Diana had no one to turn to. Her parents were struggling, and she was an only child.
One day, she had a phone call. “Diana,” her nephrologist said. “You have an angel!”
“What do you mean, an angel?” Diana asked, bewildered.
“Someone is paying for your transplant!” the doctor said. “I’m booking you for the procedure as soon as possible!”
The doctor was as good as her word, and a few days later, Diana woke up after her surgery in one of the hospital’s private rooms. There was a man in a suit with a big smile sitting in a chair by her bed.
“Hello, Diana,” he said. “It’s good to see you!”
“Hello,” Diana said cautiously. The man was a stranger to her, but he sounded as if he knew her! Could this be her angel? “Who are you?”
“Don’t you remember me?” the man asked. “Eight years ago, you came to my rescue in the park…”
“Rescue?” asked Diana, bewildered. “I’m sorry, but…OH! You’re Paul?”
“Yes!” Paul said, and his smile got even wider. “You don’t know what you did for me! You gave me the strength and inspiration to fight for my dream, and now I run this medical group.
“When I saw you here and learned that you needed a transplant, I knew I finally had the chance t transform your life the way you transformed mine!”
What can we learn from this story?
An act of kindness can transform a life. What may seem to you the smallest gesture can transform someone’s life and inspire them to greatness.
All bullies are cowards at heart. The nasty teens were picking on Paul because they saw him as vulnerable, but when Diana appeared, they were frightened and ran away.
Share this story with your friends. It might brighten their day and inspire them.