On a bitterly cold night in New York City, a policeman takes pity on a barefooted homeless man and buys him a pair of shoes. It happened on Wednesday November 14. Officer Lawrence DiPrimo of the NYPD didn’t know an eyewitness had captured his magnanimous act . That picture went viral on Facebook.
And thousands upon thousands of people across the face of the Earth feel a lot better about being human. The power of a simple good deed.
It may just have been a vignette of virtue. One of those sporadic manifestations of the Good Samaritan. But it has resonated among the angels of our better nature.
I’m reminded of that TV commercial that shows a loop of kindness. One person observes another who is helping someone and thereby is moved to help someone else. The first act of kindness evolves into a series of kind acts. Returning at last to the benefactor who started it all.
St. Martin of Tours was a 4th century French soldier before his conversion to Christianity. He too came upon a homeless man, a beggar, who moved him to pity. With his sword, Martin divided his cloak and gave half to the poor man. He was to become one of the most renowned of saints, honored and revered throughout the world.
We celebrate his feast day on November 11. Even today, in parts of Belgium, children receive presents from St. Martin on that day. On a bitterly cold night in New York City, Wednesday, November 14, a policeman bought shoes for a homeless man, and the world is a much better place because he did.