Late Shabbos afternoon I was sitting at the Kotel waiting for Maariv (evening prayers) when a young man came up to me and said:
"Five years ago you put tefillin on me and you told me a little of your personal story. I never forgot it. You encouraged me. It wasn't so easy, and it took some time, but now I am in the yeshiva learning."
"You look great" I patted him on his shoulder. "Now what about the girl who is looking for you?"
"I have to learn for a while first."
"How old are you? I see a grey hair in your beard."
"Nu? You have to make a family."
"I have to learn more."
"There is no end to learning. You have to look for that Jewish girl who is looking for you."
"I need a few months."
"A few months? Okay, I can wait that long, but don't put it off. Just find a girl who has the same goals in life that you do, then you can learn along the way as you go. Come by and tell me when you find her."
He walked away smiling, happy that he saw me, happy that he could thank me, and happy that he is on the right path.
It is a blessing to help someone, and it is a special blessing to learn that you helped someone.[i]
Usually, we talk to one after the other, day after day, and rarely hear what happens, but for everyone you hear about, you can bet there are a bunch that you helped and didn't hear about. Our job is to try. Trying or not is in our hands. Success is in hands of Heaven.
[i] Avot 2:14 (Ethics of the Fathers)