I recently went to New York to watch my youngest daughter graduate from college. I could hardly believe that it had been 4 years since we dropped her off at a dorm and prayed that she would make it in one of the largest cities in the United States.
We came from a small town in California where most of the people I had grown up with now had children of their own and we watched our little children end up in the same class and become friends as well. I always taught my daughters to be confident and independent, and now I lived in the truth that my oldest had moved to Los Angeles (600 miles away from us) and my youngest decided she wanted to pursue the fashion industry on the East Coast.
As I quickly learned upon visiting her several times during those four years, she had really become a “New Yorker” in every sense of the word. She knew how to get around this huge city by bus, subway or just plain old walking. She learned how to order food from Seamless like a pro, and most of all she had no time for small talk with strangers.
New Yorkers always know when you are from out of town or especially from California because we are too smilely and nice! So as I tell you this story, you will understand why my daughter shakes her head every time I meet a stranger and get them to tell me their story. I am a talker and consider myself an encourager of people. I love to make them feel better by the time we finish a conversation, and it was no different on this day.
We had decided (my two girls and I) to get our hair styled at one of those “Dry Bars” blow out salons before her graduation. We walked in and waited for our assigned person who would be helping us that day. My guy was a sweet young man named Michael (and if you are reading this Michael “HI!”) and he proceeded to ask me some questions about why I was there and where I lived, etc., but as I always do, I asked a few of my own questions about him. He had just moved to New York a few short months ago and we started sharing stories of our past and it came as no surprise that we had a lot in common from our childhoods even though we are years apart in age.
This never surprises me as I believe God always puts me exactly where I should be at the perfect time. There are no coincidences in life; you either see the blessing or you don’t. We spent the next 50 minutes or so talking away and I made a new friend that I may never see again, but we both left with smiles on our faces and I left with amazing clean and styled hair.
We left the salon and my youngest says ” What in the world were you talking about with your stylist?” I replied “Life!” It was then that she said to me
“Mom, you have a gift. Every time we go somewhere you get people to tell you their whole life story. I live here and I never have that happen to me!”
Maybe someday she will grow into that person who stops long enough to really talk to someone who she may never see again, but can connect with for the moment. Maybe she never will but she will have other qualities (I actually see them in her now) of being there for someone she cares about and being a loyal friend. Either way, the next time you are out and about and you see someone who needs help with something, or you are waiting in the same waiting room, or maybe getting your hair done…take the time to connect if you have the opportunity! You may be surprised at what you find out about yourself and how these encounters will bless you and the other person as well, because after all, we are all here on this earth for each other aren’t we?