A stranger

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These two are far from strangers.

Born into the same family,
they have shared many of the same things,
yet are entirely different,
but strangers they are not.

Yet they like all of our children struggle at times with understanding how to communicate.

Communication is tough.

It is more than words,
body language,
inflection.

Last week I was shopping alone,
which is an almost never occurrence.

Buying our Bethany a birthday gift.

When communication went…

Well,
it’s difficult to put into words.

My senior year I was privileged to be an aid in our special education room.

There were several of the students there who also were in our FFA group.

One of them had been elected to the board that year and it was my job to help her complete her’s.

She was terrific and I loved working with her.

Since then when I am blessed enough to meet a person like her I try to be friendly.

At least to smile and look them in the eye and say “Hello”.

As I was making my purchase last week, a lady caught my eye.

My first thought was of my school friend, and I smiled.

I wanted to communicate something to her.

To be friendly, gentle, hopefully a spot of joy in her day.

But as communication often does,
something entirely unexpected happened.

She waited until I was finished.

Walked straight toward me and said,
“I haven’t seen you in so long!”

She threw her arms around my neck and squeezed.

I hugged her back too blessed to choke out much more than “Hi!”.

She introduced me to her friends, who all smiled.

She said a few other things about why they were there and where they were going and then said “Goodbye” and left.

So did I.

I didn’t want to cry in the middle of the store.

I didn’t intend for that to happen.

For her to bless me when I was trying to bless her.

Did we know each other?

Honestly, I’m not sure.

She looked familiar but I have been out of school for longer than I want to admit and my memory isn’t fantastic when it comes to people I have not seen in years.

But it doesn’t matter.

In that moment she wasn’t a stranger,  she was my friend.

And I had to think.

What if we treated all the people in our lives the way she did me?

How would my children react if they were greeted with a hug every time I saw them?

What would occur in my classroom if I always wore a “I’m so happy to see you!” smile?

Inside I have to admit,
Jesus calls me to love,
yet how do I really love?

If I can take the lesson I learned last week from someone I don’t really know.
I would understand there’s danger in the world and people who aren’t to be trusted.

Yet love those around me,
even
the
stranger.

I think that was what God was trying to communicate to me.

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