I was about a mile into my daily walk when the gentleman came out on his porch to greet me. Over the years, he and I have regularly greeted each other as I pass by his home. Our encounters have never been more than a “Good morning!” with a smile and a wave, perhaps a word about the weather. But this time he added, “I haven’t seen you in a while.” I explained how my schedule and route often change according to the seasons and weather, so we must have just missed each other.
Then he went on to say, “I asked my neighbor if he had seen you, because I was wondering if something had happened.”
His words were a tender blessing. This kind man, who doesn’t even know my name, cared enough to ask another neighbor about me. I was so surprised and touched by his concern – and by the new awareness that my presence mattered to him. This happened weeks ago, and yet the warm feelings remain.
I have found two insights from his gift.
~ We will never be aware of all the goodness around us…
Recently, my husband Jim was told by a friend that he had been in his daily prayers. The other day, I happened to see a runner stopping to pick up trash along her route. Right now, someone is lying in a hospital bed, unaware of the prayer vigil being kept for him outside the door. People are quietly making good differences all over the world. In every moment, someone somewhere is bringing goodness to another; we simply cannot observe it all.
~ With just a few moments and a few words, we can help others become more aware of this goodness surrounding them…
We can share with others any complimentary, appreciative words we have heard about them. We can let others know how often we have thought of them or prayed for them. We can remind others that they matter, why their lives have blessed ours, and of the gifts we have received in knowing and loving them. We can point out other acts of kindness and generosity we have noticed along the way.
When we become discouraged by the confusing ways of the world, grieved by the distressing headlines, or frustrated by the overwhelming challenges before us, we can turn our focus to the goodness we see and trust in the goodness we do not see. God is also and always working to bring about good.
When we pass along any of the goodness we have witnessed or received, we help to illuminate God’s goodness – and become beacons of peace and hope for others.
(Photo by Karen)