Showing Love Unawares

Several years ago, I was viciously attacked at work. I believe, had someone not walked in the door (and the Lord’s gracious intervention) I would not be here today.

Through the years, even though I am basically very shy, I have taught myself because of the jobs I have held, to be more outgoing and friendly. However, after the attack, I withdrew into myself for years.

One day, as I was leaving physical therapy, I felt the Lord nudging me to start being more outgoing. I normally would have smiled and said, “Hi” to people as I passed them, but the attack left me extremely fearful of even my own shadow.

The nudges kept coming, each one stronger and more forceful than the last, so to the next person I passed by, I said, “Hi,” then hurried on my way to the car.

A few seconds later, I heard steps behind me, and even though fearful, I didn’t turn around. Then the man I had just said hi to was in front of me and facing me. My immediate instinct was to scream and run, and the poor guy must have seen the fear in my eyes, because he very kindly said, “Ma’am, thank you!”

“For what?” I asked.

“For treating me like a human. You are the first person in years to look me in the eye and say hello, and for that, I thank you.”

I stammered out the words you’re welcome to him and then rushed to my car before the tears became full-fledged sobs.

In my fear and hesitation, I would have walked right past him, but the Lord knew we both needed each other that day, because we both needed to feel humanity at its least, but feel it nonetheless.

The Lord exhorts us throughout the New Testament to love our neighbors as ourselves and that day, quite unaware that I was, I followed the precepts of Matthew 19:19b, Matthew 22:39b, Mark 12:31 and John 15:17.

I wish I could say that broke the dam and I have been able to continue since, but I can’t. I can say, though, that I try to find something nice to say to everyone I pass-from “What a pretty necklace” to “I like your tie.”

It is not easy.  More often than not, I want to run – not say something – but the Lord strengthens me and gives me the words. Oh, the joy on their faces when the realization hits them they are more than just a number in a sea of people.

(Reprint of previously published article)

Advertisements

Strange and Unusual Encounter

Our granddaughter is going to a college near us, and I take her to classes. One day recently, her teacher wanted them to meet at a different location a few miles from the school and further from our home. I decided I would drop her off then go somewhere closer to where she was, to read a book and enjoy a cup of coffee, as it was very cold and windy. I figured this would be easier than going home and then back, plus it gave me more reading time! Before I left home, I had decided on a fast food restaurant not far from where I dropped her off. However, I passed one a little closer and chose to go there instead.

Now, here’s where the story gets interesting. As I was getting out of the car, my hands full with my keys, purse (have I ever mentioned how much I detest purses?) and book while struggling with a heavy, unwieldy jacket, I noticed someone coming up behind me. I quickly exited my car as I felt I could defend my self more easily; that way was there a need. Also, I could hit the panic button on my car if necessary, which would alert those in the restaurant to a problem. I am always skittish when someone approaches me (even friends sometimes due to an attack), so this put me on high alert.

A gentleman with an obvious speech impediment questioned me. Trust me when I say you have the benefit of some translation which was way more than I had. Anyway, I was able to make out that he wanted some money. Now, I never carry money with me, only my bank card, so I told him I was sorry I didn’t have any money. Before I had a chance to even offer to buy him food, he asked if I would buy him something to eat. I answered, “Sure, come on with me.” He looked at me quizzically and asked, “Really?” I replied, “Really!” This went on for the few seconds it took for us to get to the door. He then asked if I would buy the most expensive item they had. I paused for a moment, while trying to open the door and assessed the man.

As I continued to try to open the door, I realized he was in a t-shirt type jacket, thin pants and was wearing no hat or coat. Feeling he had to be freezing and probably hungry, too; I told him I would.

At that point, the manager opened the door for us, and we were seated. We gave our order, with me trying to translate for the waitperson. As we waited for our food, he talked to me.

He indicated his friends nicknamed him Ice Man because he was always so cold, touching my hand to demonstrate. He wasn’t kidding! I have cold extremities year-round which become worse in winter, but his hands were much, much colder than mine.

He continued talking to me. He told me I needed to laugh and smile more, that I was a blessing to him and he was happy to meet me. I told him he was right, I did need to laugh and smile more, and he was a blessing to me. Of course, he asked me how and why he was a blessing. I tried to explain, but I teared up and couldn’t say much. He patted my hand and just talked to me. He told me that God promised that if we ask, we receive. I smiled and said that yes, the Bible promised us that. He was happy that I knew the verse and told me I needed to believe it more. He also told me I should be Santa Claus this year. I laughed and said there was no way I could be Santa! Laughingly, he agreed.

About this point, our waitperson came back with our food. As I started to add salt and pepper in preparation to eat, he called the waitperson back over. He told her he was my friend, but he needed to leave. He asked her to divide the meal into three bags to go. As he prepared to leave, he reiterated that I needed to laugh and smile more and not forget, if we ask, God gives.

I asked if he had somewhere to stay. However, he never really said, only that he wasn’t aware of any shelters nearby, nor was I.

When he left, tears were streaming down my face. I didn’t know how to help this poor, frozen Ice Man save for praying. Nonetheless, he helped me. Believe it or not, since then, I have been laughing and smiling so much more than I had been before. I’m crying as I relate this, remembering what a sweet, unconventional meeting.

I know this is sort of rambling and not well written or edited. My desire was to convey my feelings more than anything. I firmly believe I entertained an angel that afternoon, for in Hebrews 13:2 (King James Version) the Bible says, “Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.”

I am thankful my fear didn’t cause me to brush him off or ignore him. For even though he may not have been who or what I believe him to be, he was a cold, hungry man that was able to have three meals either for himself or to share with other hungry people. And that, my friends, makes it all worthwhile.

Oh, and one little footnote-the restaurant didn’t even have coffee or hot tea!

Saturday Silly

Quote

Continuing with our dating and marriage theme-out of  the mouth of babes.

What Do Most People Do on a Date?

 “On the first date, they just tell each other lies, and that usually gets them interested enough to go for a second date.” -Martin, ten years old

couple2 “Many daters just eat pork chops and French fries and talk about love.” -Craig, nine years old

pork chop and fries

Turbulent Tale

Until I Found You by Victoria Bylin is contemporary romance based on realistic life experiences.

Kate Darby is on the way to help her grandmother recuperate from a stroke when her life changes dramatically.

While Kate is on the treacherous winding mountainous road leading to her grandmother’s house, she swerves to avoid a condor in the road.  As a result, her car slips off the edge and teeters there until Nick Sheridan, local author, answers her desperate cries and prayer.

Nick, unhappy with his book now that he is a new Christian, had also sworn off dating for a year.  And Kate, just out of a relationship, did not want to date anyone, especially not a local.

One disconcerting portion of the novel dealt with rare Condors.  The inclusion added to the overall story, but the author seemed to be giving lessons in conservation and ecology.

The story, however, like the road Kate was on, twists and turns through personalities, jobs and real life scenarios.

This is the first time I have read a book by Victoria Bylin.  The cover and story synopsis intrigued me, and I was not disappointed.  I look forward to reading more of her novels.

LibraryThing gave me this book in exchange for an honest review.

 

We are 1, only 1 away from 1,000!!!!!!!!!!!! I think we will have a winner on Wednesday!

Real Stories GENEROUSLY Sprinkled with Chocolate

The Chocolate Diaries by Karen Scalf Linamen is a book for all women who have been on this journey called life.

Karen does a wonderful job in The Chocolate Diaries of injecting her own life’s battles; such as bouts of depression along with life’s joys.

She believes in using lists to guide her and keep her on track.  After one disheartening experience with her lists, she decided to always start her list with: Eat chocolate, thereby ensuring at least one thing on her list would be done every day.

At times lighthearted and at other times reflective, the book features real women with real stories and ways each coped with their situations.

Karen draws her analogies from extensive interviews with friends and family and peppers the stories throughout the book.

I think this book would be great for a study group ending each session with the Food for Thought questions and then making the recipes.

Real people with real stories generously sprinkled with chocolate. Nothing is much better than that! I received this book in exchange for my review at Blogging for Books.(From 5/2/2011 blog)