I’m sitting here in the back corner of the break room at work. My preference, in any room, is always the furthest corner and facing the door. I have to assume it’s because I’m part introvert, I never like to have my back to anyone, and I’m a people watcher.
I see many faces that I know, so we stop and share a quick hello. I see several that I only recognize, so we share a smile, and then there are others that I don’t know at all.
The TV is on; set to an outdoors adventure type of reality show, but no one is really paying much attention to it. A woman is sitting alone in the corner, eating her salad and reading a novel. A man is sitting in another isolated chair thumbing away on his smart phone. Two friends are sitting on a couch, laughing and sharing stories that no one else can hear….probably office gossip.
A woman walks into the room that I haven’t seen in a while. We know each other so we smile and chat for a minute…small talk. People are around so it’s nothing too deep. But my heart tugs as I think more about her. She’s cute and bright, has a cheery disposition…always! She has curly hair like me, but wears it openly…always! I remember sharing our curly-girl-hair tips last summer. I know that she loves her husband passionately…just like I love mine. In addition to the curly-girl conversations, we shared a few of those joined-at-the-hip types of stories about our weekends or upcoming vacations. So, I just know that he’s everything to her.
A couple of weeks ago, I had asked another friend about her because I hadn’t seen her around like I usually do. My friend said, “Oh…didn’t you hear?”
“I don’t think so, because I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
My friend goes on, “She and her husband went on a ride back in November. It was a freak accident. He didn’t make it.”
I am absolutely, positively, crushed for her. Seeing her now, I want to hug her and cry with her…but it’s not an appropriate place. I know how I am at work…it’s not the place you want to cry. I smile and say, “Hi. How are you?” and she answers, “I’m okay” with a smile.
I wish I could tell her that I know…but now isn’t the time. I want to talk with her…just listen to her wounded heart and be a good friend, but I’m unsure.
She goes to the vending machine to get a bottle of water. We say “See you later” almost in unison, and she’s back out the door, heading to her office. My heart aches for her. I can’t imagine my life without HB and can’t even begin to fathom what she must be going through.
I look again around the room at all of the faces. We pass each other every single day; smiling, saying hello, just going about our merry way.
I think about God and His love for everyone in this room. While I know nothing about their personal lives, He knows every single one and all of the details. The vastness of that overwhelms me.
I think of her and I ask God to open a door for us to talk one day. I hear a whisper in my ear telling me to just pray for her. My eyes begin to tear up as I hear the whisper and the thought of her tugs on my heart-strings again. I look around the room and decide that I’ll pray for them all.
Sometimes God just catches my heart by surprise. Like he just stops me in my tracks to help me remove the blinders and open the eyes of my heart. And not because I can do anything about what is going on…but I suppose because it gives me an opportunity to see people outside of the little world I create for myself. I just learned another lesson in love and compassion for others.
I get so tangled, at times, in the busyness of life. I complain about things so little by comparison. Lord, help me.
I take a moment to appreciate all that I’ve lost, because I have compassion for the wounded heart. I take a moment to appreciate all that I have and say a little word of thanks. With an enlightened heart, I ask for help in embracing each and every day.
It’s time to get back to my desk now, but before I do, I obey the whisper.
Without anyone seeing or knowing, I look around the room one last time and pray for each of them. Just a simple prayer…that no matter who they are, no matter what they are going through in their life today, that they will clearly see His thumbprint…and that somehow His Light will burst through to give them an assured sense that He is right there with them.
Take a look at the people around you today. Each person has their own life that they’re dancing or muddling through. Smile…chat…say a little prayer.
Take a look at your own life. Give thanks. Embrace your day.
May you see His thumb print on your day and His light on your path.