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Friday, April 21, 2017

The Other Person



It's really easy to forget.

I do it all the time.

I get so caught up in "me and mine" that my vision gets cloudy and compromised.

At the beginning of my career, when I was a front line supervisor, I worked with a man who I believed was in a terminally bad mood. He never engaged in conversation, never smiled. Mostly he did his job and grumbled and complained.

I settled for him doing his job.

More important stuff to attend to ya know?

One evening I saw him smile and I asked him why the mood change?

His wife was confined to her bed with a chronic illness. The private duty nurse left at 11 pm. We left work at 7 am. She was alone for over 8 hours. Tonight was his last night on 3rd shift. Monday night he was headed to the 3 to 11 shift. The private duty nurse had agreed to stay until 11:30.

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I take a walk most mornings. 

Being a creature of habit I don't vary my route. Consistency and all that jazz. 

One summer, a few years back, I would encounter the same woman waiting for the bus at the same bus stop each and every morning. I'd wave and shout a hearty "Good Morning!" when I passed by each day. She'd turn her head and grin. 

So it went, five days a week from early May until early August; and one morning as I motored past her I heard her say "Hey, hang on a minute.!"

She told me she appreciated my greeting each morning. She was home for the summer from college and this was her last day at work. 

She got real solemn. 

"I won't go into detail, but I've had a lotta challenges this summer and a lotta stress. It was always good to know that you were gonna be here every morning with that goofy grin, yelling GOOD MORNING and waving at me. It forced me to smile and I am grateful for that." 

The bus pulled up. She leaned in and gave me a quick hug and got on the bus. 

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They came to Bethsaida, and some people brought a blind man and begged Jesus to touch him. He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village. When he had spit on the man’s eyes and put his hands on him, Jesus asked, “Do you see anything?”

He looked up and said, “I see people; they look like trees walking around.”

Once more Jesus put his hands on the man’s eyes. Then his eyes were opened, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly. Mark 8:22-25