By David A. Sargent
Godfrey Cuotto, a 21-year-old student in Hamilton, Ontario, had eaten at a downtown restaurant and boarded a bus to get home. When he got on the bus, a man sitting near the front reached out to shake his hand. Cuotto was taken aback initially, but then politely took the man’s hand.
But the man, who had special needs and appeared to be agitated for some reason, wouldn’t let go of Cuotto’s hand. So Cuotto sat beside him, seeking to console the troubled man.
"He kept holding my hand," Cuotto told the Huffington Post Canada. "I thought I was getting pranked at first, but he just needed comfort."
Cuotto rode the bus beside the man for 30 minutes until his final stop. During that time, the man continued to hold his hand, lean on him, and even hugged him out of gratitude. A photograph was taken of the pair and posted to a Facebook page. The photo shows the man leaning on Cuotto, and holding his hand. He appears to be at peace. The photo went viral, shared by thousands of people who appreciated Cuotto’s small but endearing act of kindness.
"I just allowed it, like what am I going to do?" Cuotto said. "Sometimes you just have to be selfless and put someone else's needs above yours."
Later, some of the man’s family members contacted Cuotto on Facebook and thanked him for comforting their uncle, Robert. They also informed him that Robert suffers from cerebral palsy and is deaf.
Cuotto was interviewed by a Toronto radio station. When asked about his kind nature, he attributed it to his mother. “I was raised by a queen,” he said.
He had a great mother!
What a wonderful display of kindness and compassion! What an excellent example of being a “paraclete.”
Paraclete is a Greek word that appears 5 times in the Scriptures. Four times, it is used as a title for the Holy Spirit (John 14:16, 26; 15:26; 16:7); one time it is used as a title for Jesus (1 John 2:1). A paraclete is literally, one called alongside (to help). The word is a fitting description of what Cuotto did for Robert, and it provides a “picture” of what Jesus wants to do for you and for me.
We are lost because of our sins, and when we recognize that, we become agitated and fearful. But God loves us so much that He sent Jesus “to our side” to rescue us (John 3:16). Jesus died on the cross for our sins so that we can be saved and receive the gift of eternal life (Ephesians 1:7; Romans 6:23).
God will save those who place their faith and trust in Jesus (Acts 16:30-31), turn from their sin in repentance (Acts 17:30-31), confess Jesus before men (Romans 10:9-10), and are baptized (immersed) into Christ for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38). Then, Jesus will continue to be a Paraclete for those who have trusted and obeyed Him: “My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate [a Paraclete] with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous” (1 John 2:1). As we continue to strive to follow Jesus faithfully, He will continue to intercede for us (see also Hebrews 7:25), and through the blood that He shed on the cross, continue to cleanse us from all sin (1 John 1:7).
Godfrey Cuotto was a comforting paraclete to a troubled man. Jesus Christ is THE Paraclete who can save us from sin and give us eternal peace, knowing that He is always near (through His Spirit) and that He is always interceding to the Father on our behalf.Won’t YOU entrust your life to the Paraclete through your trusting obedience?
- David A. Sargent, minister for the Church of Christ at Creekwood in Mobile, Alabama, is also the editor of an electronic devotional entitled "Living Water." To learn more about this excellent resource contact David via their website: http://www.creekwoodcc.org
* From “Photo of young man comforting disabled man on bus goes viral.” http://www.fox9.com/news/fast-five/32742662-story