Monday, February 8, 2010
How Are You Today?
Indiana was freezing this morning. A harsh 8 degrees according to my kitchen window thermometer.
I pulled into work and started the walk from my car to the building. Freezing!
I looked up to see ... "How are you today?" ... That's what I call him anyway. I have no idea what his name really is. All I know is this ... He is an older gentleman who walks from his employer to the gas station every morning. He gets a cup of coffee and sometimes a newspaper. Then, he walks back across the parking lot to his job. I can't remember a morning when he hasn't been there, walking back with a hot cup of coffee in one hand and waving his other hand at each person that passes. The gentle wave is followed by "How are you today?"
This morning I did NOT expect to see him, not with it being this cold out. But, there he was ... a cup of coffee and a wave.
I waved back and smiled, "That's a cold walk for you today!"
"It sure is." He paused, "Hey, I haven't seen you for a while. You been good?" His words created a fog between us. Another indication of the extreme cold.
"Good! No complaints here." I pulled my coat a little closer.
I passed him as he replied with ... "Ok, you take care."
"You too!" I waved and hustled into the building.
I was puzzled ... I've seen him every morning for probably the past year. I know I spoke to him each morning last week. Yet, he said ... "I haven't seen you in a while." Why was that?
Later that morning, a cup of coffee in my hand and sitting in front of my computer ... it struck me ... I was smiling. Not one of those pasted on smiles ... the ones I'm sure I've given more than once. I was really smiling. I looked right at "How are you today?" and I smiled, I stopped and listened to him.
I know this because I had a bad day yesterday. A day that left me feeling hurt and frustrated. I spent a good deal of time in prayer this morning before work. I made the decision to smile at those around me. Why? Because the look someone gave me yesterday and that person's actions ... hurt me. I know they had no intention of hurting me but it hurt anyway. After thinking long and hard about it ... I decided that it was possible I had somehow hurt others by looking at them without a smile or without kindness in my eyes. My actions had probably been hurtful without my even realizing it.
"How are you today?" didn't recognize me ... Wow! A smile makes that much difference! Wow, God makes that much difference!
So ... "How are you today?"
John 13:34-35 "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."