The summertime birds chirped cheerfully as I rode my not so new bike through the neighborhood on a beautiful warm summers day.
As I rode through the quaint streets of my small town, enjoying the fullness of of the summertime greenery of the mature trees along my chosen route, my gaze turned to an elderly man strolling aimlessly it seemed on the sidewalk.
We greeted each other with a short nod. As I was about to ride by, the man tilted his brimmed foreign looking hat towards me and asked if I knew German… in German. I said I understood it well, but to speak it was not very eloquent to say the least. I asked if he knew any English. He responded with a shake of his head and a short questioning shrug of his shoulders.
Knowing this, the likelyhood of our meeting lasting past the quaint nod and smile seemed unlikely at the moment.
Not so it seemed as my inadequate attempt at a language I had been surrounded with all my life seemed to be adequate in this moment… It didn’t seem to deter him at all.
And so the “magic” began.
The older gentleman listened with much grace. A small grin sat happily on a face that had seen many generations as he listened. He then proceeded to tell me of his homeland in the most beautiful fluent language I had been so familiar with all of my life.
As the story went, he had only arrived four short months earlier.
As I stood listening to this gentleman’s story, half perched on my bike, I could see his face begin to relax more and more the deeper into his story he got with a fluent German that rolled smoothly and rhythmically off his tongue . It seemed to be a comfort to him to speak in his own familiar tongue to a stranger he just met in a foreign country.
Listening to this elderly gentleman brought back memories of years gone by of beautiful family gatherings at my grandparent’s home on their farm that always seemed so magical. Nothing but German… and for a few moments, I was transported back in time to that beautiful season in my life again.
What a beautiful moment.
As our chance meeting came to a close, or was it chance?… We bid each other a fond farewell and went our own opposite ways, A “fond farewell” as we had now become a little less strangers than when we had met such a short while ago. All because of a meeting “in the moment”.
Unknown to this gentleman, he had given me the gift of warm remembrance of a time and place that had been delicately tucked away deep in my heart.
In his own need to connect, he accomplished a smile in someone else’s heart effortlessly.
This side of Heaven, we may never know how these in the moment encounters will affect someone or ourselves for that matter. It may very well happen when someone needs it the most.
So why not take a chance?… sieze the moment… be IN the moment. For you never know when we can bring hope to someone who may be carrying a heavy heart.
Willingness to connect and step out of his comfort zone in a foreign country impacted my life by him just opening his mouth and wanting to connect in a foreign land.
We both came out winners that day as we both allowed ourselves to be catalysts of hope… one from a foreign land needing connection, and one being transported back to a familiar land of heartfelt remembrance.
All because two people chose to be catalysts of hope…
“In the moment.”