Sunday, July 2, 2017
Anonymous Notes to People I Encounter - Part 2
Last week I began a three-part series containing letters I wrote to people last summer. I did not intend to send the letters; my purpose was to increase my awareness of those I encountered throughout my day and reflect on their influence.
Here are the next three letters.
No Date - Dear Lady at the Post Office,
I held the door open for you as we entered the post office. You had a large box under each arm and could hardly move as you walked awkwardly into the lobby juggling these parcels. Your long, gray dreadlocks were pulled back in a ponytail.
I wondered where your packages were going - who would receive your generosity?
Our lives intersected for a few seconds as I acted on one of my maxims of looking behind and holding the door open for others.
Imagining how the recipients of the packages will respond gives me joy. What if these were boxes of non-descript items - not something special? I'll ponder the possibilities the rest of the day.
June 7, 2016
Dear Lady Swimming in the Lane Next to Me at the YMCA,
You always take up the whole lane when you swim, especially when you're on your back. Today there were only two lanes available for lap swimming; the one you were in and the one next to it. Fortunately, the adjacent lane was empty, so I jumped in.
On the way back from my first lap, I noticed a man waiting to swim. I offered to split my lane. I motioned to your lane and said, "She takes up the whole lane," just as you elevated your head out of the water.
Woops! I hope you didn't hear what I said. My words had no relevance to my offer to share a lane - I added them out of frustration that someone would take up so much space oblivious to others who might want to swim. But it doesn't matter, not in the long run. You matter to God, you should matter to me too.
Please forgive me.
June 9, 2016
Dear Resident in the Neighboring Housing Addition with Yellow Old-Fashioned Lawn Chairs in the Side Yard Under a Willow Tree,
I was sinking deeply into old ruts when I got closer to your yard and saw the two yellow chairs side by side under the tree. I've cycled back in thought to these chairs throughout the day, picturing the bright color and realizing how inviting and welcoming they were.
I wonder if you use them or if they are for decoration? Either way, they left an image for me to focus.
Today I am a struggling soul in need of an image. Thank you for your happy yellow chairs. In my heart, I sat in them for a long time, lingering.
Questions for Reflection?
1. What captures your attention as you travel through your day - a person, an object, an animal, a roadside sign?
2. Consider writing a letter to someone or something that captured your attention as a way to add more meaning to your day. Sometimes when I write, thoughts come out that were not present when I began. You, too, may have surprises when you take time to write and reflect.
Prayer: God, each day brings a new group of your children into shared space, if only for a few seconds. Let each one teach us something about you, about love, about being with others, so that our hearts expand to embrace all. Amen.