The Kindness of A Stranger

August 27, 2021
This story is written by Allegra Jordan, who teaches, coaches, and writes to help people flourish in the face of difficult realities. As an advocate for the Jesse Lewis Choose Love Movement, she helps teams at work Choose Love to perform at their highest level. She has a special place in her heart for all people who have experienced war or military life.

I was in great emotional pain due to a divorce.

During that time, I offered my house as free lodging for visitors to the Duke Center of Reconciliation. Visiting me that late spring of 2009 was a lovely woman who had escaped eight years of horrifying slavery with the Lord’s Resistance Army. She was to testify before the United Nations about the pain of human trafficking suffered by Africa’s children.

Because I was in the midst of a painful divorce, I was trying to just hang on and not burst into tears. I failed. “I’m sorry,” I offered. “My pain is so small compared with yours. It’s just divorce. It does not compare to what you went through.”

Then she said something that is a gift only a person of authority given by her pain could bestow: “Pain is not a competition. Your pain will change you as my pain changed me.”