Susan Luzzaro 5:30 p.m., Dec. 7
I was having lunch at Panera yesterday. It was around 12 noon and the restaurant was full. My friend and I were happy to get a table. Suddenly my friend's attention was attracted to a quiet commotion behind me. I turned around to my right to see an elderly woman in a wheel chair sitting near the doorway. She had just entered the restaurant with the help of a caretaker. At first, I didn't see the young man, but when my friend said: "I haven't seen anything like this in years." I turned around to my left and saw a young man walk over to the wheelchair-bound woman and gesture toward the table where he had been sitting. He picked up his food and moved to a high table, which would have been completely unworkable for a wheelchair. The caretaker carefully guided the chair to the table that had just been vacated by the young man.
My friend was right. It is all too rare to see a young man exhibit such grace and compassion. As my friend and I left the restaurant, we stopped to compliment the man. Typical of humble people who do the right thing because it's simply the right thing to do...he thanked us and kind of shrugged his shoulders as if to say it was no big deal. Indeed, it was an easy thing to do, but unusual enough in the midst of an atmosphere of "entitlement" that prevails among many people. I asked his name...it was Jesse.
I have no idea who Jesse is beyond this brief encounter. Maybe he works in the area, maybe he's looking for a job, maybe he comes from a big, loving family that instilled values in their children, or maybe he's all alone in the world. What I do know is that he's one of those rare angels who sees a need and responds to it in a quietly caring manner.
Thank you, Jesse! You made our day! :-)