Sunday, July 9, 2017
Anonymous Notes to People I Encounter - Part 3
Finally, the last set of letters I wrote to people encountered during a series of days last summer.
May 18, 2016
Dear Woman Who Sat Next to Me on an Airplane as I traveled to My Oldest Daughter's Wedding,
You were from Wyoming. I'd never spoken to anyone from that state. You described your shift work in a dry wall factory. You were flying home from visiting your husband who had an organ transplant at the Indiana University Medical Center. He was in Indianapolis for three months recovering, while you stayed in Wyoming to work and pay the bills.
You described Wyoming, showed me a few pictures, and noted you lived in a small town where no one locks their doors. Your husband is an industrial arts teacher, you said, and you showed me pictures of your grandchildren.
I enjoyed talking to you and marveled how far people travel to receive treatment at hospitals that are within driving distance of my house.
You didn't mention anything about faith during this time of medical challenge, but I pray you had faith in God to get you through these trying times.
No Date - Dear Kroger Employee,
You looked so tired leaning against the trash can outside the store entrance. With the temperature close to 90, I can't imagine that being outside was restful. However, maybe stepping away from the store gave you a much-needed break from your job - perhaps the need for a few moments distance from the people, the carts and the clamor was worth leaving the cool air-conditioning and plunging into the heat.
Thank you for the work you do to make the store run smoothly. Every job is important.
I hope your break was exactly what you needed to get through the rest of your day.
No Date - Dear Little 10 Year-Old Waiting for a Baby Brother to Arrive at Indiana University Hospital,
You came up to me as I was walking toward the elevator. You were so excited as you told me you were going to be a big brother. You continued with other details of your life - your mother had been divorced twice, you had two siblings considerably older than you, and now a baby brother was almost here!
It must be hard to deal with so much at ten-years-old, and be confined to a small hospital waiting room when you are an active little boy.
I pray you have fun being a big brother!
No Date - Dear Debbie,
Today I took you to the convention center downtown. You brought a bag filled with lunch, a few books, and a water bottle. You seem to be content wherever you are. You don't try to make a scene or call attention to yourself. You are content to read or prepare a meal. You provide well for your sweet family. You are easygoing and content to let life come. I enjoy being your friend.
For Your Reflection
1. Keep a list of your observations of people throughout a day or for a week. To whom would you like to write a letter? What about the person or the circumstance draws your attention?
Prayer: Each day, God, I am made more aware of the variety of people you have created - all in your image. Unknowingly, these people bless me just by sharing space for a few moments. Sometimes we share a few words, other moments merely involve observation. Either way, compassion for others is broadened, making more space to love those whom I encounter. Amen.