I’ve been thinking all week about what my topic for this post would be. I haven’t come up with anything yet. Several scriptures have come to mind, but I’ve already written about most of them either on this blog or on my writing blog. Nothing has taken hold in my thinking. So I’m just going to let my fingers do my thinking, and we’ll see what happens.
I went to the Walmart today to pick up a prescription. The store was packed full. People are doing back-to-school shopping, I guess. That’s not a part of my life any more, and I can’t say that I miss it. As I rolled along in one of those little electric carts the store provides, I had to approach each intersection with caution. People tend not to watch for scooters in the aisles. You really don’t think about them much until you need one. Gives you a whole new perspective.
A pretty little girl walked along beside me for a couple of minutes. She smiled and said, “Hi!” I said “Hi” back, and that was the end of our moment of meeting. But I watched her as she continued to follow her mom, and she greeted everyone she saw. She didn’t seem to expect much in return. She just enjoyed the people. And every single person she met and greeted walked away smiling.
Of course that little scenario started me thinking about how easy it was for a little girl with a genuine smile to make new friends. She was asking nothing in return.
And then I thought about a conversation I had recently with a client who grew up in New York City, where you made every effort NOT to make eye contact with people you didn’t know. Smiling and greeting strangers is just not safe, so she told me.
I don’t live in NYC. I don’t I’d be in danger of a mugging if I just tried to smile at people when I roll past them. So I decided to try it.
Just a smile, not even speaking. It was amazing to watch the reaction. Every single person smiled back. Some said hello, others said “How are you?” No one was angry. Some were startled, some were surprised, but they all made eye contact and responded positively.
I’m going to keep doing that. It was fun, and I left the store feeling pretty good. Just as I was parking my cart, that same little girl walked by. She hesitated, smiled, and said, “Do you have a sore foot?”
“No,” I responded. “I have a sore back.”
“Oh. Well, I hope it gets better. ‘Bye.” And she skipped off to catch up with her mom.
Proverbs 25:11. “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.”