Grace in the dangerous part of town

I took the bus down to meet my  Big Brothers/Big sisters “Little” this morning.  It was a nightmare.  The connections were lousy and it just took forever to get there and back.  The more I think of it though, the more I realize the trip was the high point of the day. 
I met Dennis on 27th and Wisconsin Ave.  Dennis introduced himself to me and I immediately assumed he was a pan-handler and wanted my money.  it turned out Dennis is a sweet gentleman who is known by many people in the area.  I listened to an older woman (who knew Dennis) talking on the bus about places she’s worked and volunteered.  I don’t get the feeling she’s been invited to any fancy events lately yet she is the type of person I admire for their giving spirit.
It turned out the bus driver didn’t hear me when I told her where I wanted to get off the bus.  I ended up going beyond my stop and having to catch a bus back south to meet my Little.  As I was getting ready to cross the road I heard a gentleman say “Cousin, help this man across the street.”.  A woman took my arm and helped me across.  I could have crossed myself but thought it better not to refuse such a kind heart.  When we got across she told me we were in front of the barber shop.  She gave me the name of the owner and told me I should let him know if I needed anything.  I didn’t but it was lovely to think I could go in to a place I’ve never been before and know I was recommended to the owner by one of the members of the community.
All of these very nice encounters took place in an area of town many people are afraid to go to because of the imminent danger lurking at every street corner.  I’m grateful for the bad luck that brought me face-to-face with these people.  I can only hope they would be treated as graciously in my neighborhood.