Last Sunday we made the long quiet drive home from Los Angeles after dropping our son off at Biola University. It had been an emotional week and I wanted to get home and begin our new normal — with only one child remaining in our nearly empty nest. Around Stockton, said child declared her hunger and asked for an In-N-Out stop. While waiting for her food, I stepped the restroom. (Did I mention, it’s a VERY long drive!)
In the ladies’ room was a woman deep in conversation with her son. He was maybe 10 years old and, I thought, a little old to be in a women’s restroom. But with so much craziness happening in the world today, I’d be tempted to keep my son at my side too. I was observing this mother-son duo at the sink, listening in to their conversation about his new dirt bike and her insistence that he always wear a helmet when he rides.
Caught up in my own thoughts, I didn’t realize I was staring until I saw the woman watching me watch them.
Racial tensions are high in the US right now, with Black Lives Matter protests nearly every day. Afraid my eavesdropping might be misconstrued, I quickly blurted out, “I just dropped my son off in college. In LA.”
The woman sized me up and said, “Momma needs a hug!”
Before I could respond, she had wrapped me in a hearty embrace — right in the middle of the In-N-Out restroom!
Her son must be used to her demonstrative behavior because he was clearly unphased by it.
I hugged her and thanked her. Tears streamed down my face, not because I was missing my son, but because I felt so blessed that a complete stranger, a lovely black stranger, had entered into my loss and comforted me.
Just moms who love their kids and understand each other’s hearts.
When was the last time a stranger comforted you?
‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ Mark 12:31