Strangers, Left and Right

Today in my corner at Tully’s I “chanced” upon two interesting women.

One to my left.  A college pre-med student wrestling with trigonometry and testing anxiety.  A clear faced complexion coupled with that fresh glow of promise and all the world ahead of her to explore and experience.  We talked about God, about professors who change your world, and the possibilities that come with a heart that lets go and lets in all that life has to offer.

On my right was a woman my own age, with pigtails.  In fact, it was her pigtails that started our conversation.  I told her that I loved them and that if I could, I would wear my hair exactly like that.  She giggled and said that it probably wasn’t appropriate for a woman our age to have such “silly” hair.  To which I replied, “That is EXACTLY why I like it.  It shows your heart and spirit.  Your playful soul.  It is EXACTLY how you should be wearing your hair!”  She said that she had overheard that I was writing a book and asked me what it was about in her beautiful Australian accent.  I told her a bit about the basics of it – that it is a book about the journey of forgiveness and redemption and hope.  A book that I am living as I write it.  That this spot in a coffee shop would be the birthing place of something new in me and hopefully something new for others.  She is also writing a book, a novel, based loosely on her own life and on the fantasies she dreamed her life would contain.  We talked about the process of writing.  What it does for our souls, its therapeutic effect on our hearts and lives.  We concurred that even if no one ever reads what we write, the process of writing itself is enough and holds within it enough purpose alone.

I’ve worked a fair bit on my book project today.  But the reason God has moved me from home to coffee shop is clear.  I am here to hear the stories of other women.  To offer them an ear and a healthy slice of hope with their coffee.  To bring them into this corner that Jesus and I share and allow them to find not only acceptance but celebration in who they are.

This is my purpose today.  To the outside world it may seem dismally insignificant.  But to me and I believe to Jesus there is no other place I should have been this morning.

I will not see either of these women probably ever again.  One was just passing through town to visit a friend, the other will be on a plane back to Australia in five days.  But this day, this little blip on the timeline of eternity meant something.

And my heart has taken one more baby step in its healing and growing and thriving…

Philippians 1:6 – And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.

Hebrews 13:2 – Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.


4 thoughts on “Strangers, Left and Right

  1. Thank you for this post. I recently moved out of state and have to start all over to make new friendships here. Your post made me realize that, in the meantime, I should welcome any ‘chance’ meetings I have as possible appointments from God and just maybe, a new local friend.

    • It’s not easy to start over, is it? Still, being open to the possibility of God showing up in the strangest of places always surprises me in a good way. People love to be heard and valued – that is universal. Asking questions about them and following their lead just lends itself to easy and enjoyable conversation. It changes us and encourages them and takes our faith a little deeper in trusting God’s beautiful appointments.

  2. So jealous of these Tullyites…
    Read your post after the fact yesterday or I might have come down…..
    Meetings at 0900 and 1000 this morning..
    Working in Oakland all day Wed-Fri
    Meeting across the bay at 0930 Sat
    HOPE I see you Sunday!!!!
    But not at Tully’s –
    May God continue to richly bless your obedient and gracious availability. So proud of you – He’s on the other side of this looking back at your 2014 knowing each and all the joy that awaits you. May the lover of your soul make you even more a lover of souls!

    • Oh Ruth, you just made me cry. (Although, I admit, that happens pretty easily as of late :-)) You will have to come by next week if you get a chance. I would love to take a break with your sweet face.:-) I won’t be there this Sunday, as we are heading to Portland to be with Mark’s family. But I will be back at Tully’s by Monday morning 🙂 I cannot tell you how much your presence and loving spirit in my life means to me dear friend. xoxoxoxo

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