Popped in to visit an old friend today. I thought I had been stood up by another friend for our lunch date.( Turns out she just had a flat tire). So, after a 45 minute wait I decided to head over to an old friend's office and surprise him. Now, it's been at least 4 years since I've seen him. We had made various attempts over the years to get together for lunch and to catch up, but to no avail.
I wasn't even sure that he wanted to see me. He has a new business and interrupting his day might not be a good idea. I was soon to be proven wrong, however.
We spent a few minutes catching up- his life certainly has changed. He told me how nice it was that I stopped in and that he missed our get togethers in the past. Small talk really. Warm embrace followed with him expressing once again how thankful he was that I stopped by. We promised to meet for lunch very soon.
Later, as I was lunching with my very tardy friend a phone message was left on my cell. It was James, my long-lost friend. The sweetest, most heartfelt message followed. Turns out he has had a very rough few months. His personal life is in transition (shall we say) and his business has suffered a few ups and downs- all of which causes him worry. He continued to express how happy he was for my visit and that seeing me made all of his troubles completely melt away, as if nothing else mattered .
As he put it - the Spirits sent me to him today for a reason.
James is Native American. He is very close to his heritage and has chosen to live his life by those values. He participates in the tribal dances and is very involved in the ancient traditions. The "Spirits" are the greater being that he believes in. I am taken aback that my appearance meant so much to him today. It meant as much to me.
The knowledge that even when there is a great distance between people love, appreciation and friendship still abound. Even after 4 years.
In that 4 years he produced a daughter. A beautiful daughter, blond hair, fair skin, but with his deep, deep brown eyes. When I asked her name he laughed a small laugh and told me "Juliana". My name. Now, she was not named after me, mind you. But, when thinking of names for her he came across that one and thought of me. He thinks it's a beautiful name. It is and she is. And ,in my own small egotistical way, I am honored.
We've spoken again this evening. Again, he expressing his deep appreciation for my appearance. And I expressing my gladness that he accepted my interruption of his busy day and embraced me with open arms to make me feel welcomed and loved. I needed it as much as he did.
People show up in our lives when they are needed most. The Spirits working in mysterious ways.
It makes me think of how even the smallest gesture makes a difference in someones life. The book "The Five People You Meet In Heaven" addresses this very same issue. If you have not read it you must. It is a quick read, and a moving story. It illustrates how there are people (even strangers) whom you encounter who will make a marked difference in your destiny- whether you know it or not.
So the next time a stranger smiles at you, acknowledges your presence, gives you a helping hand, makes a concession for you or makes small talk remember that he may be one of the 5 people you meet in heaven- One of the ones who will make a difference in your life.
Smile back, thank him, acknowledge his kindness, remember him. You just never know.
You must give some time to your fellow men. Even if it's a little thing, do something for others - something for which you get no pay but the privilege of doing it.
Just as I posted this I received the following attachment from James.
His message read " This helps me to appreciate my daughter every moment of every day!"