I am very interested in knowing how your Monday fared. As you were out and about today – running errands, shopping, doctor visits, etc – were you aware at all of any difference in the people you came into contact with?
In so many of the comments to posts during the last five or so days, I’ve mentioned many times of how I, even more than normal, am being conscious of watching for opportunities to be a positive influence in our broken world. As a confirmation that I wasn’t imagining differences, there were four instances today where someone else other than me instigated a positive moment.
To start my day, I arrived at LabCorp for blood work. As I sat down to wait for my turn to be called, I dug a book from my bag and found my place. Before I had gotten through the first sentence, I heard a gentle voice say “How are you today?” I am most always aware of my surroundings, so I knew that myself and an elderly black man were the only ones in the room. As I looked up, he said “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to interrupt your reading.”
I closed my book and he and I had a wonderful conversation of how our grass gets cut in this scorching heat, which led to him revealing a wonderful story of how the son of his best friend, who had passed away last year, takes care of his yard. We ended up talking about how blessings come around through the most unexpected places.
Both LabCorp women that I came into contact with were black women. The receptionist and I were laughing over the wording of the orders for blood work – and the woman who actually drew my blood was ranting to me about how the cleaning crew fell behind in their duties over the weekend – “Please tell me you can’t smell that dried blood in the contaminated waste bucket!” she emphatically said. (She most definitely was right!)
I stopped at the grocer on my way home and as I headed for the car, there was a young black boy, I’d say 12 to 13 years old, sauntering through the parking lot. And come on now, who of us didn’t saunter at some point or another at that age?! I know he saw me, like I say – I’m always aware. I didn’t acknowledge him any more than he did me. That is, until I backed up and started to pull away. He then turned around, smiled, and waved to me.
Folks, this is not a normal day. I know that gentle man made an effort. I know those two women associates at LabCorp made an effort. And that young boy practically had me so stunned that I almost stopped the car. And I had spoke such bravado! All of them, as the day is ending, opened my eyes that I’m the one whose got to try harder. As I go out each day, I’ve got to wait until I get home to stick my nose in a book and look up and around me while I’m out in the world. I feel almost like a young child whose been caught doing something careless. These people taught me that just talking about it with a good intention doesn’t cut it. They showed me with their kindness that I now have another reason for being aware of my surroundings.
The picture above, and I apologize for its lack of clarity, was taken at a birthday party I took my granddaughter to on Friday evening. That’s my granddaughter and the birthday boy in the picture. They both attend the same summer camp and both were ecstatic when two of their favorite counselors, pictured here with them, showed up to skate.
Children, unless they are taught to do so, do not put the color of a person’s skin in the determining factors of whether they like that person or not. That’s just a statement – this is not a post about racial differences. The people I’ve mentioned above, yes, were black. But for the first time, I can honestly say without a doubt that I saw these people today just as my granddaughter does, without regards to the color of their skin. And at the same time, I think it’s entirely possible that they saw me the same way. And they were the ones to step out and make a difference. I’ve been humbled today, gratefully so.