A missed opportunity?

California State Automobile Association (CSAA) publishes a monthly magazine Via. They are sponsoring a contest called “The Kindness of Strangers”. The contest requires a very short description of a traveling event where the writer relates an experience where a stranger(s) made a difference in their travel experience. My submission is included here. I did not place in the contest, but I feel the story is timely and relevant to our world today.

Early evening, Christmas Eve 1973. A stretch of Highway 99 between Sacramento and Los Angeles, California. A young couple with a 9-month-old baby in a ‘66 Plymouth Valiant station wagon has broken down near Chowchilla as they travel for Christmas. A desolate stretch of road. No one stops to help. No telephones available. The night is turning cold and hours go by before a car stops. Two Muslim students on their way back to school in Fresno take us in and drive us to their apartment. They feed and shelter us for the night. The next morning, Christmas Day, they help us find someone to fix the car. They forever influenced my worldview. Every time I drive that stretch of road, I remember the most “Christian” actions that came from two Muslim strangers.

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