Today, I needed to take a break from work. Coffee wasn’t the drug I needed to get rejuvenated. I knew a walk would do the trick after stepping outside and feeling the warmth of the sunshine on my face. Heading around the corner, I saw a man standing on a driveway looking in my direction.
He said, “Hi. Are you taking a meditative walk?”
Looking at the stranger I asked, “Excuse me what did you say?”
As he walked around his carpet cleaning van, coming closer to me, he repeated the question, “Are you taking a meditative walk?”
I admitted my truth, “Yea. I needed to relieve some stress.”
He says, “What I do is look up at the sky and ask for help, His Ever Lasting Presence.” He then added, “You know how to restart your day? Hugging.” Without hesitation the man leaned and wrapped his arms around me.
After a few seconds I pulled away and with a gentle smile said, “Thanks I needed that.”
The older, weathered-looking man glanced back at me and asked, “What’s your name?”
“Lisa, and yours?”
“Nice to meet you meet you Pete.’
The stranger confidently added, “Lisa, our paths crossing was no coincidence. It was God knowing we both needed a hug to restart our day.”
As I stepped back to examine the worker all I could say was, “Wow.”
He then added, “I know, kinda crazy getting advice let alone a hug from a complete stranger.”
Silently I laughed and with a smirk added, “No, you obviously don’t know me. I hug and talk to strangers all the time.”
With an inviting smile Pete added, “Me too. You see I am trying to turn over a new leaf. I spent time in jail and daily I am trying to do good, even in small ways.”
God has the small details in our life and can use anyone to make a difference. You just need to be open to it and keep looking up for HELP, His Ever Lasting Presence. Do you have a story that a complete stranger made a difference? Feel free to share in the comment section below
I was not planning on blogging today but then found this picture . Looking at it I see so many ironic messages . I was alone even though I was married . I was headed to the beach; my happy place then and now. The smiles were contagious . How could I be sad when I had my two greatest gifts by my side? Even though the picture is faded and blurry, I remember the day very clearly. This was the day I found out that I needed to be brave and be single. Little did I know HOW brave I needed to be. Months later, I was divorced, financially broke, and my ex became a paraplegic.
” Always be full of Joy in the Lord; I say it again rejoice! Don’t worry about anything but pray about everything” Phillippians 4:6
Some say, ” Fake it to you make it,” or “A smile disguises a broken heart.” But I disagree. You don’t need to fake it. TRUST God will give you answers and the courage to daily walk forward. He gave me the special gift of the Holy Spirit to guide me daily on my journey through the good, the bad ,and downright ugly.
Fifteen years later, I am still not married but I am not alone. Even though my kids are both in college and not glued to my hip, their smiles still make me contagiously happy. I don’t just visit my happy place on occasion , I moved there. Yes, to the beach. The picture is clearer now, too- literally and figuratively.
“Philippians 4:12 I have learned the secret of being content in every situation … I can do everything through Christ who gives me strength.”
I trusted God and he has given me the strength to be single. He whispered to me then that I would be alright and today I hear him loud and clear! God has used my time of being single for a purpose. As a CFP(R) I teach Women and Investing seminars to educate woman how to be financial independent. In addition, I lead a single woman’s small group. We inspire each other to be strong and be content – just where we are.
A few years ago, I had a day as surreal as a Stanley Kubrick film. As I dug in my purse for change to pay for my Heath bar, a stranger behind me laid a dollar on the counter, purchased my candy bar, and told me to “Pay it forward”. I turned to him, dumbfound and quipped, “Thanks.” I walked away, savoring the sweet taste of chocolate, and shook my head in disbelief.
Later that afternoon, I drove down Schaumburg road, and made my way into the snow-covered parking lot of a laundry mat. I pulled my laundry baskets out of my trunk as the bitter wind punched my cheeks. Why did my water pipes break this week? Why did my life have to be this hard?
Within minutes the washing machines were jammed with my dirty clothes, but it was my emotions that were burst and soiled. In the next thirty minutes, I watched my clothes being tossed against the glass round window, flopping around without any clear direction, mirroring my haphazard day. Just then a wind gust blew the door open and a lady dressed in red flannel PJs bottoms and a black wool coat, walked in. Within seconds she was crying with despair,
“Thunder and Lightning ran out of gas and are stranded.”
“Who are Thunder and Lightning?”
Between broken sobs she continued,” They are my twin girls.”
“Really? Thunder and Lightning? Where do they go to school?”
“Schaumburg High School. They are Sophomores. They are track stars.”
Lines on my forehead formed like an EKG read-out,” Oh, are they? I have a sophomore girl at Schaumburg, too. Her name is Tarah.”
“You do? Maybe my girls know her. They are on the track team and are wicked fast… but they need help. Do you have any money for gas?” She pleaded, “I am a single mom. Please can you help me?’
Her eyes melted my soul like whip cream on hot chocolate. I reached in my wallet and took out a ten-dollar bill. “I am a single mom, too. This is for your girls.”
She hugged me like a momma who just found her lost child at Disney World,” Thank you. Thank you.”
I watched her walk out of the frosted glass door and disappear into the blizzard. I dialed Tarah on my cell.
“Tarah do you know any girls called Thunder and Lightning at your school?”
“Yeah, mom. They are track stars, why?
“Never mind… I’ll see you in a bit.”
Pressing the end button on my cell phone, I looked up at the ceiling and laughed as I thought of the gentleman who said, “pay it forward.” I felt an unnerving stillness come rush over me like a gentle brook streaming over a rock.
As I left the laundry mat, the snow continued to fall making the roads slick. I stopped at a stoplight right by Schaumburg High School just as a car skidded into me tapping my bumper. As I walked to rear of my Murano, I saw a nervous chubby cheeked face looking down at the dent and then his hazel eyes quickly darted to meet mine. With his corners of his mouth turned down he uttered, “I, I am so sorry,” As he tugged at grey knitted cap, he lowered his head and closed his lips like a trap. Looking up at the rosy cheeks I asked, “Are you hurt? Are you ok?”
In confusion, he replied, “Yes. I am fine.” Looking down at the silver dented bumper and then up at the boy, “Well, it’s only a dent. No one was hurt. Forget about it. Just be careful.”
His hand brushed to push his mocha colored bangs to the side and added,” Are you serious?”
I nodded. “Yep.”
“Thanks. I just got my license and my dad would kill me.’
I shuffled through the snow-covered street and made my way back into my SUV right before the light turned green. As I sat for a moment, I realized that I was given the gift to” pay it forward.” not once but twice. I released my right foot from the brake pedal and pressed the gas pedal down. As I drove into the intersection, I looked up at the sky and smirked knowing that angels were probably smirking too.
What is the whisper within?
Some say we all have that little nagging voice that tells us right from wrong. It is the gut feeling you have deep inside your soul that something just isn’t right. Some call it a sixth sense or is it a sick sense? It is your conscience? Do you believe we all are born with a good and righteous morality? Or ethics? Are you capable of listening to your heart? To your soul? Do you believe in dreams? Or in signs?
So what is the whisper within?
I believe it something different. Something extraordinary.
Something that cannot be simply explained through a Google search or Wikipedia entry but through a life being led.
At this stage of my life, after journaling a decade of “strange coincidences”, I feel compelled to open the tattered, beat-up, spilled on, read and reread pages of my journals and share the recollections of “the good, the bad, and the ugly.
I Believe GOD powers strange coincidences and the journey called life. This will be a weekly blog of stories that inspire hope, love, forgiveness, and anticipation of the joy that lies ahead.