I stock grocery shelves for a living. As in, I make my means to pay my bills by slangin your quinoa and bagging your brie and favorite “OMG I LOVE THOSE” infamous pita crackers. As someone who works in the “service” industry, I’m sure you can imagine what kind of conversations we get to have with people (invited or not). From
“Excuse me, Do you carry Colon Flusher?”….
“Yes we do.”
“......Have you ever used it before?”
“Hi this is Valerie, thanks for calling ____, how may I help you?”
“Do you have your Kittys Fave Tuna Snax in?? My kitty really misses them!! She is soo sad!!! She won’t stop asking me for them…
What’s that?? She wants to talk to you!”
……..I couldn’t make that up people. I had a five minute conversation with a cat, and I could be wrong, but the cat actually sounded sad.
But occasionally we get the “ My husband just died of cancer.” Or “Yeah it’s my day off, I’ve been out of work for a year now.” Or the not so extreme,” I’m okay.”
When something in her inability to meet your gaze, or the dark circles under his eyes indicate the “okay” may be because of a long night staying up caring for his wife who just returned home after her 4th chemotherapy treatment.. The question is, how could we know?
Most of the time, we feel awkward and
uncomfortable when we see someone suffering right in front of us. As much as we say we want to do good and help others, the truth is, we kinda just want the nice happy people to come through and small talk about the rainy weather. Instead of the girl who clearly is about to break down and cry for reasons unknown. The truth is, we aren’t nearly as courageous (or selfless) enough to look into the eyes of another human being and find out how IN THAT MOMENT, you can be a blessing in their lives. You cannot fix them or the problem, but you CAN bless them by not treating them as another $20.11 in Seaweed Snacks, another “Have a nice day” like just another face in the crowd. We are all “faces in the crowd”, we all feel alone, insignificant.
But we are looking for a reason to have hope in something, it might be, that a perfect stranger would actually look you in the eyes and for one minute step outside their world and REALLY see you and your need and in a beautiful exchange between the human heart, be a reminder that you that you are not alone.
I have let many divine appointments slip out of my hands because I didn’t take the time, or was too afraid/awkward to ask how their day was really going; but there are and have been times when I stepped out in faith (no matter if I was rejected or awkward) and asked that question a little more deeply a second time. I will tell you, most people don't know it; but we all feel a little more alone than we'd like to believe & I've had amazing stories and moments with strangers I would've missed out on if I'd just said, "Have a nice day." What I have come to realize in life is at the end of the day(&our lives for that matter) all we have to hold onto is HOPE in tomorrow, FAITH for today, and to LOVE until we get there.
I pray every day I dedicate to the top of the list the greatest thing any of us will pursue in life: LOVE
& you can take that to the bank.
Not to EXIST, not to LIVE, but to LOVE