Imagine... walking through life... Walking to your car, parked in the driveway... A neighbor jogs by, eyes meeting but neither whispers a word. Good morning doesn't pass your lips and hello never escapes hers.
Drive to work, parking the car... Walk a block or two to your office building. Passing a group of students, possibly a colleague working in your building - eyes dart downward, avoiding the awkward hello... Ears possibly plugged with buds and phone in hand signaling to the passerby, I am on a call... there's really no one on the other line.
In the office, finally saying good morning to someone - your office mates. Sitting down... Straight to work...no audible peep is heard except for the sound of fingers hitting the key board. Phones barely ring anymore -- everything is communicated through email and text.
Lunch comes... Not enough scratched of the to-do list, staying in today.
Quitting time, the arrival is repeated in the departure.
What about the person holding the door for you at the quick stop or the person next to you picking out apples at the grocery store?
Drive home... Greeting family and end of day.
How much actual interaction did you have with other human beings today... Or rather, how much MEANINGFUL interaction did you have today?
There's this couple... Fran and Gene, who eat breakfast at my local Subway every single morning. The first time I met Fran and Gene I was running late for work.... Making the stop at Subway for my breakfast and my lunch because I wouldn't have time for either. I walked in with my cell and wallet in hand, and from somewhere to the left near the soda fountain I hear this happy, sing-song "good morning". So pleasant. My eyes dart alive with recognition of kindness... As though I know them or should know them.
I return the enthheausiam and say good morning as well. I continue to the counter and order. As I stand there one by one the door opens and Fran and Gene continue to greet as though they have made new friends old. I am in awe, watching this scene be repeated.
Paying for my meals, I turn towards them and I have to ask... I just can't help it...
I approach their table and thank them for such a warm welcome... A welcome this world rarely sees and I let them know they've made my day. The question I have to ask, "Please forgive me if this is not appropriate but I truly must know, are you both Christians?"
Gene smiles a look of recognition seen this side of heaven and answers with kind eyes and a smile, "Why yes we are." I could sit with them all morning and talk... I don't, I make my exit a little lighter in step.
I have seen them a couple of times since then, always the same. This week I learned their names, where they attend church and that she tutors children with learning challenges... I am so thankful for that smile. As I go on my way I am more cognoscente of others as well as myself, how I greet people... The effort I put forth.
They, with their joy, make a big difference in the lives of others using something so simple... A smile and a friendly hello. Something every single person has been given... A smile and a voice.
By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another." John 13:35
We could argue... As we have been... Or we could take a moment to have conversations, foster meaningful relationships and show one another love.
Who will you love today?
Jesus replied: "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself." Matthew 22:37-39