Very often times, “silence” is the key to good communication. But how can you create “action” in moments of silence?
I have been thinking about this statement lately, and wondering if perhaps practicing my mindfulness, or being in the present moment is something that I have integrated into my every day life…or if it is simply something I“talk” about doing.
It’s easy to make statements that flatter and “appear” to fulfill others for the given moment…to be happy and optimistic every day, but what about the days when you don’t feel so…cheery?
I was working yesterday and left my lunch at our training facility/center so I had to purchase a lunch at the local mall…at the food court.
Now by this time, the mall has pretty much been abandoned, with online sales soaring and putting local stores out of business, but I remember a time when malls were “loud.” When there was traffic and it was hard to find a parking spot. People came to school wearing the same shirts because everyone had the chance to shop at the same stores, etc. So, yesterday the food court…seemed dead. It was isolating and silent.
I was there with individuals that I work with and as they ate their packed lunches, I approached a steak vendor…one of the only food choices left besides the sugar coated pretzels, and waited.
In front of me was a lady that butted in front of me in the so called, “line” but I let her…she was obviously in a hurry, and I never am too aggressive when it comes to such things. As I patiently waited for her to order I couldn’t help but overhear her abrupt and demanding rudeness to the cashier, who in turn approached their communication with rough speech as well.
“And make sure they get it for me…quick!” she torted.
I was in awe of such an occurrence and felt very uncomfortable, but still I smiled, not that anyone was paying any mind to me or my face behind them but nevertheless, smiling made me feel better, as though somehow, it might diffuse the situation even just a little bit.
This woman was older, in her mid eighties I’d guess but you could tell that she took good care of herself. But by this I mean…as she rooted through her coin purse…that she was once “something.” A pearl. She was as sophisticated as she was mean and couldn’t get away with being nasty anymore. Time had aged her and her beauty. Her hair was a dyed reddish brown color and she had piercing blue eyes that watered. Her hands shook as she dug through her coin purse and attempted to give the man the “correct change.” But he wasn’t having it. Sighing and rolling his eyes, he didn’t want to hesitate any further in getting her through the line as quickly as possible just so he could probably wait on me with the same type of rudeness and check out counter hostility too.
When I saw that coin purse though my heart melted. She could have been MY grandma. She was probably someone’s somewhere but instead there she was alone when I was blessed to be surrounded by loving co-workers and individuals that I work with and for.
I couldn’t stand the “silence” anymore though of MY actions and reactively went up beside her, touched her arm and said:
“Would you mind if I bought your lunch today?”
“Why would you do that?” she said bluntly.
I didn’t hesitate but said that I believed, “that love made the world go round and I wanted to do this one thing for her to pay it forward.”
She was aghast and taken back.
So was the cashier.
She began to tell me a story about a woman who buys big bags of lollipops—200 at a time she said…and one day when she noticed the woman had run out, she came to the rescue with an extra bag.
It was part of this sharing that allowed me to pay the cashier and order our food. I told her it was nice to meet her, even though she wasn’t very warm and still probably stun gunned by a stranger wanting to do something “nice” for her for a change, so I went to go sit down in my seat and waited until my food was ready. I went up too soon however, and she got very very close to my face as she went to walk away. It appeared that her “bus” was due to arrive any minute and that is why she was so agitated to begin with…that she was merely about to miss her ride home. At home where she planned to eat alone she divulged.
“What’s your name anyway?” she asked me.
I told her my name was Jeanna. And she gave little mind to my response.
“Well my name is Norma Jean…just like Marilyn Monroe.”
At this I quivered. It was as though the Lord himself had blessed this union.
You know when you just get one of “those feelings?” Things that can’t merely be coincidence. But something much greater. It’s a feeling that I can’t put into words but I believe it is the Holy Spirit. I had asked God specifically yesterday to gear me with His presence and to build me up so that I could in turn help others, but this was such a rare and beautiful moment that I just had to share.
“My grandmother’s name IS Norma Jean. And my name is Jeanna and I’m just like her,” I said.
I gave her a hug as her now beautiful pearly blue eyes shone and she smiled again and grabbed my arm.
As I ate my steak salad with friends, I looked out and watched this woman catch her bus and prayed…that someday somewhere someone would be nice to me the way I was with someone who was truly alone, but making it the best that she knew how.
My blog today is by far…not perfect. But I have decided recently that too much goes by without me when I strive for perfection. When I shoot for mere “action” however, things seem to move along much better on their own. I am only human but I rely upon the Lord as much as possible through the days just to get through them and to add them into a collection of “good” days versus ones that could have been wasted on bad attitudes.
I pray this message finds you well and that you have a sense of community in your life. Whether that be a health coach, a family member or friends, I pray you are surrounded by love and that you share your love in return. Magical things happen when we love one another. Amen.
“Give preference to one another in honor.” Romans 12:10