I am still in shock.
A few weeks ago, we invited eight youth leaders over for a home-cooked meal despite a painful stress fracture in my leg. Grocery shopping had become unbearable, so using a new delivery service was a no-brainer.
An hour later, a young woman arrived with the loot. She had a long, thick braid of blonde, curly hair. I complimented her about it immediately. My hair would never do that. She smiled and thanked me.
While unpacking, we chatted about her job. It was new. She had just returned home from volunteering in South Africa and needed the money. My daughter had traveled there, so more polite conversation easily tumbled from our lips.
Soon enough, we even discovered that one of her close college friends was coming to dinner. This woman walked into my kitchen a complete stranger and left a new friend.
A moment after I thought she’d gone, I heard her gentle voice:
“Hello? I should have asked you this before, but may I pray for your fractured leg?”
I surprisingly heard myself say, “Yes.”
This young woman knelt down and held my leg gently with her hands at the spot of the fracture. She spoke directly to my injury. The words offered healing, relief from pain, and grace for the recovery process.
I had no words. Tears brimmed my eyes. Warmth, gratitude, and humbleness shook me physically. There, in my kitchen, in front of the open refrigerator, I was blessed. Then, she smiled and left.
Since then, I’ve wondered how we can create more moments of connection like this.
These four principles may be the answer:
1. Believe that all people are innately good, and show it.
2. Smile around people who are being kind or of service.
3. Share compliments. If you’re thinking it, say it.
4. Ask genuine, but simple questions.
Lastly, if inspired to share a prayer, ask first. If a prayer is offered for you, try saying, “Yes.”
Bonus: 5 Mindful Things to Do Each Morning.
Author: Kate Fleming
Image: Author’s own
Editor: Nicole Cameron
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Beautiful! I had a similar thing happen to me a few weeks ago..actually in South Africa. 🙂 I had just ordered a smoothie and salad at Kauai and was waiting for a friend to arrive when a couple was trying to order and couldn’t decide cause one was allergic to sth and the other didn’t like sth, and I had to laugh cause the poor guy taking the order already had to endure my allergies and dislikes a minute ago, and so I said: I’m glad I’m not the only picky one here. They started laughing wildly, and then placed their order. Instead of picking a table though, they came to my table and asked for my name, and what happened to my knee – it was obvious I was injured since I was on crutches: I’d ripped my ACL just a day before my kiteboarding trip to South Africa. This injury is a terrible setback for me as it means another 8 months of rehab before I can do all the sports again that mean the world to me. They listened to me and then they asked if they could pray for my knee. I was a little shocked, but despite not being religious I said sure, what bad could it do. So they knelt down, placed their hands gently on my knee brace and wispered words of love, healing, growth, releasing pain and a lot of more love. Then, a friend of theirs came by and asked if he could join the prayer, and despite the awkward situation of standing in the middle of a take-away place with three people kneeling in front of me it felt all but awkward, I felt pure gratitude towards these strangers for their empathy, their selfless and courageous compassion and their faith in my healing. It’s amazing how little it requires to establish an authentic connection to other human beings…and still we struggle so much with it..still way too seldomly do we take the step to offer some light to a stranger. So thank you, Kate, for reminding us with these simple but important principles. <3 Sending healing vibes to your fractured leg.
What a similar and beautiful story! Thank you for sharing. Our world needs as many stories of human connection and caring as possible.
Get well soon! I’m sending warm, healing vibes right back at cha.