By Elsa Sichrovsky
I walked slowly into Japanese Conversation class and plopped wearily into my usual seat. Of all my subjects, this was the worst. I dreaded the three hours of twisting my tongue to capture the cadences of conversation in a foreign language.
After fumbling through a dialogue with my partner, to my surprise, I heard the girl sitting behind me reading the dialogue all by herself. Polly had sat behind me all semester, but somehow we had never talked. I glanced over my shoulder and saw that Polly’s conversation partner was absent. As I listened to Polly struggling through a long dialogue, I winced at the thought of being in her place.
“How can one person sing a duet by herself?” the teacher said jokingly. “Polly, find a partner to do the next dialogue with you.”
I whispered, “Do you want to read the dialogue with me?” and Polly’s eyes lit up. “Yes, thanks!” she whispered back. We read the next dialogue together, and Polly thanked me again afterwards. I turned my attention to the teacher’s explanations of informal speech patterns in Japanese and my conversation with Polly slipped to the back of my mind.
When the bell finally rang, I was putting away my textbook and notes when Polly leaned over and pushed a little yellow Post-it paper into my hand. Out of the classroom, I opened the note and read:
“Dear Elsa, thank you for reading the dialogue with me today! Wishing you a happy graduation! You can make it!”
I had hardly spoken to this classmate, but in response to my very small gesture she had taken the time to encourage me with this note. I felt like God wanted to show me that I wasn’t alone and that He was looking out for me even in the little details of my life.
I hope that whenever I am a recipient of kindness I will take the time to show appreciation, just as Polly did. I hope that I too can be on the lookout for everyday moments when I can be a channel of God’s love to others.
Images designed by gpointstudio via Freepik. Text courtesy of Activated magazine; used by permission.