We never know when we leave home in the morning who we will encounter or how our lives will touch someone else. Something as simple as your smile, your "hello" or brief conversation may be the small offering someone else needs this very day.
In 1974 I was taking classes part time and nearing graduation from High School. I took a part time job at the local mall across town. I did not drive, so I caught the bus every day at the corner stop. One morning on the bus, a tall thin woman a little older than me approached me and ask if she could sit with me. She had dark brown hair and wore a very stylish T-shirt dress and sandals that were popular at that time. She was so pleasant and outgoing, immediately striking up a conversation, saying that she had seen me at a local youth ministry. It turned out that she and her husband worked there. Her name was Candy.
A life long friendship was born that day, all because she took the time to make her way across the isle of that public bus to talk to me, a stranger. A foundation of friendship was cast and forty one years later, we are still best friends today. We have raised our children together, gone through many personal life changing trials together and I can honestly say, I can't imagine what my life would be today without her. Again, all because she took the time to greet me, to know me.
I was part of a non-denominational mercy missions organization several years ago. One thing that always stuck in my heart that I learned in my time there, was the importance of a persons name. Much of our identity is married to our name. In many cultures your family name means everything. It speaks a lot to someone when you remember their name. It doesn't take much to read the names of the cashiers and bag girls /guys at my local supermarket, I'm surprised at my (usual forgetful) self that after a couple of times, I remember them by heart from our conversations over groceries. One of the things I noticed about my husband when we were dating, was that he always took the time to ask waiters their names, remembering them and engaging them in conversation. I liked that about him.
I try to look people in the eye and say their name. When they ask me how I am, I ask them back and take a minute to listen to their reply. I try to remember my friend's example that it only takes a second to be kind, to make someone feel special.You could be like my friend on the bus and who knows, you just might make a friend today.