but then there are those times where life has so much beauty, so much love, & so much kindness....
Well, Life blessed me on Tuesday to have 2 of those moments in one day!!!
During my lunch the other day, I was running errands and as I was on my way to the bank, a woman approached me asking me for change. I had my wallet in my hand but I had no change ( I save all my change for travel) and no cash. I regretfully told her that I had nothing to give. She genuinely thanked me for trying and wished me a great day. I instantly responded, "Let me buy you lunch."
We walked a few steps to Ray's Pizza and after making sure that they accepted credit cards, I told her to order whatever she liked. Hesitantly she ordered a small fry - and after persuasion from the cashier and myself - she ended up getting a chicken meal with a drink. The cashier, noticing that I was treating someone less fortunate than myself, gave me a discount on the meal and made the woman feel great - telling her to pick any seat in the house and they would serve her. After signing my receipt, I began to walk out and the woman said - "Wait, you can't join me?" My heart was beyond happy at this moment but regretfully I told her that I had to go back to work. At that moment, a police officer who was on line behind us jumped in and said "We can eat with you - we would love the company". I smiled and said thank you and walked out - not before saying goodbye to the woman and thanking the cashier.
I left that Pizzeria - with such a warm feeling - one that no amount of food or money could give....One that satisfied an intangible appetite in life. My faith in humanity was restored that afternoon.....and little did I know, it was about to happen again that evening.
After ending the day with my coworkers at The Milling Room (check this restaurant out - GREAT SPOT), I traveled on the train back to Brooklyn. As usual, I pulled out my headphones, plugged in my music, and opened my book. At the next stop, a young man (about 19/20) got my attention and asked to see my book. "Ummmmm - sure." I said hesitantly. In my mind, I'm thinking - "If he runs off with a book - that would be a great thing, right?!" After intently, reading the back cover and taking a picture of the cover - he gives it back to me and proceeds to ask me questions about it.
The book being reviewed on the Subway: "Just Mercy" by Bryan Stephenson
At first, I thought I was back in school with the common book report questions being asked of me. But I got comfortable and he did too, as he now sat next to me, and for the next few minutes we talked about a book that I THOROUGHLY enjoy and recommend to EVERYONE. Our conversation then turned to life goals and past reads. For the next 30-40 minutes - a stranger & I realized that we had so much in common from cars to books, to education, to life goals, to cultural viewpoints, etc. It ended with me missing my stop, not making the grocery store, giving a young man a book for him to read, learn from, and add to his library collection; and me leaving with a sense of fulfillment. Not only was I able to impart some knowledge into this young mans life but he did the same for me. There are truly genuine people in the world and God had it that I came across 2 - in 1 day.
My prayer that night:
-Thank you Father God for allowing me to be the vessel in which you showed your love to your children.
-Father, if it be your will - let me run across both people again in the future. To see how far we all have come since that Tuesday.
There are so many ways to be a light and blessing to others, sometimes it's money, sometimes it's lunch, sometimes it's time spent, sometimes it is a conversation with a stranger, sometimes it's in a book.
Whatever way it is - ALWAYS be open.
"Let your light shine, so that all the world can see - and praise your father who is in Heaven" Matthew 5:16