I can’t remember if Cady said “the unexpected kindness of strangers” or “the undeserved kindness of strangers,” but either fits.
The night she said that we were on a youth trip and were caught on the road during the approach of a tornado; and we pulled into the yard of a man we did not know at all, knocked on his door, and asked for shelter. “Go to the garage,” he said. He opened the door, turned on a light and his radio, and sat with us. He wasn’t “chatty.” But he was generous. “If it gets any closer we’ll go in the basement,” he told our group.
It might have been one of the best things that happened on that youth trip–and it was a good trip.
We had similar experiences on our most recent youth trip. Paige’s Grandma and Grandpa gave us space in their lives to spend a night and two meals in Duluth. When one of our vehicles broke down, “Bob” gave up his supper hour and then some to tow us from Tower to Virginia. Jamie’s friend Laurie and her husband Keith had offered our group of fifteen their cabin for a night; but when we had the car trouble Laurie also came and got a carload of people and stuff; and when we needed to spend a second night with them they graciously took it all in stride. And our last night we stayed at Miles’ and Betty’s farm near Sebeka, where Betty fed us and they showed us around.
I remember Professor Murray Haar of Augustana College talking a bout the Holocaust in a lecture long ago, and about the people who “answered a knock at the door” and chose to open the door and their lives to hide Jews. I’m not saying anyone “risked” their lives for us; but they certainly opened theirs for us–unexpectedly–undeservedly.
I also remember Murray asking “When someone knocks, will you open the door?”