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Kindness Pays Off
Julio Diaz disembarked a New York City subway train after a routine journey deposited him at his station. The 31-year-old social worker stepped off the platform anticipating grabbing a bite to eat at one of his favorite diners. When suddenly, out of the darkness, a young man appeared brandishing a knife.

The teenage mugger pressed Diaz for his wallet and he complied. But as the young thief quickly turned on his heal, Julio called after him. “Hey, wait a minute. You forgot something.” Perplexed, the robber returned and Diaz suggested that if he were going to steal from more people that evening, he would need a coat to keep him warm.

The teenager was dumbfounded by his victim who removed his jacket and offered it to him. Julio continued, “I was just on my way to grab some dinner and wouldn’t mind some company.” The bewildered young man agreed.

Mugger Further Surprised

At the restaurant, the mugger was further surprised by the courtesy Diaz exhibited toward the waiters, manager and even the dishwashers—the kid was floored by the man’s kindness.

When the check came, Julio passed the bill to the young man who still held the stolen wallet. Immediately, the teenager returned the lifted billfold. Amazingly, Diaz then traded the would be robber a $20 bill for his knife and they parted ways.

Interviewed later by NPR’s Story Corps, Julio suggested his assailant possibly really needed help. His philosophy: “If you treat people right, you can only hope that they treat you right. It’s as simple as it gets in this complicated world.”

Julio Diaz is echoing the words of Jesus spoken 2,000 years ago. “But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you…” (Matthew 5:44).

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By Kathy A. Lewis. Copyright © 2009 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture taken from the NEW KING JAMES VERSION © 1982.

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