by Reb Gutman Locks @ Mystical Paths
It was erev Yom Kippur, 6:30 a.m. I was out for my daily walk. I saw this beautiful Ethiopian girl walking toward me and she looked so sad. She must have been about 17 or 18. She did not appear religious from her outer appearance so I wasn't sure where I would go with it. I stopped her, she was so beautiful, and so sad, I couldn't stop.
I asked her, "Why are you so sad? Are you sad?"
She said, “Yes.”
I said to her, “Do you know Hashem loves you?”
She said, “No.”
I said, “Do you know Hashem sent me to talk to you today?”
She answered with the innocence of a child – "B'emet?" (really)
I said, "What are the chances that a middle aged American woman who never met you in her life would stop to talk to you?" She just looked at me. Then I felt as if the words were being put into my mouth:
“You need to know that Hashem loves you. I want to bless you that you come to really know that. I want to bless you with a good year and that you will see that what makes you sad now is really a good thing for you.
“Then I told her the story about how ‘my son, Hillel lost his passport in Uman and it was missing for 3 days. The night before he had to leave the Ukraine, the place he was sleeping was broken into and his bag was stolen. He found all the items that were unsellable out in a nearby field strewn around. Later that day, he found his passport. If his passport would have been in the bag, it would surely have been taken and who knows if he'd have been able to get home for Yom Kippur? You see? He thought it was bad that he lost his passport, but it was really good!’
“I saw the light bulb go on in her head. She got it.
“Then I said it simply – ‘So you may feel sad now about something that is happening to you, but really it is good for you. The blessing is to have that good revealed to you. I wish you a year of happiness.’
“She was crying. It was beautiful to touch her heart. I hugged her and she cried and we laughed together, and then I told her in a teasing tone – ‘Good you're smiling. Now I want you to keep smiling for 5 minutes straight!’ She agreed and went on her way, wiping the tears that were still flowing down her face.
“It lifted me for the entire day. Thank you for being the good teacher that you are, Gutman.”
I (Gutman) wrote back to her, “And you made G-d smile, too.”