Meeting people makes for the best opportunity to hear amazing stories. Taking the time to get to know someone is life-giving in so many ways. This giving of our time as a gift and expecting nothing in return can seem like a foreign concept. In a world that encourages us to fill our time rushing from one place to the next, to always be doing something, we must make time for others. We must make time for ourselves. Part of this for me means making time for prayer, and taking the time to listen to what God is saying to me.
God gives the gift grace if we only open our hearts to receive it.
This morning on my way to work I saw a person waiting outside the supermarket. They had a sign describing the struggle they are going through and the reason they are in need of money. Usually I might acknowledge a person, say hello, even on the odd occasion drop some coins when I have them, but ultimately I would continue on with my day and, in all honesty, probably forget about the interaction a very short time afterwards. This morning as I reached out to push the pedestrian traffic light button I stopped. I turned and engaged them in conversation. I sat down and spent some time getting to know more than what one might think by what they see. They were polite, as keen on learning about my story as I was theirs, and had no problem with me unintentionally covering their sign for the ten minutes we talked.
After this ten minutes I found out he is a musician with many self released albums, and he is in need of some extra money to pay the high rent he does to live in a rather small room he lives in at present. I would have had no opportunity to learn any of this if I had walked past or simply left some coins without stopping and spending some time with him.
We have the opportunity to be part of some amazing stories. Our own, those of our family and friends, but especially those who may be in times of struggle themselves. As my newfound friend said today “we don’t know the importance of the time we give to someone.”
Do you ever find yourself wanting to give time to someone you’ve just met? Is there a recent opportunity in your life where you didn’t know how to give your time? Were you worried how it would be received?
We are all human, and a side effect of this sometimes is caring about others. Giving kindness without knowing if we will receive anything in return is a risk. For the reward it can bring to someone, I think it is definitely a risk worth taking.
Be good, keep good, and sleep good, dear readers. Peace.