Hey! Should I start this whole post with an apology?
I mean, after all, what in the world could cotton stalks in a milk glass vase, possibly have to do with the world needing love?
Yeah, you would be correct. Absolutely nothing.
Yeah, seriously, nothing.
I got the milk glass vase, pitcher actually, at Goodwill…and I saw one of the most beautiful acts of human nature unfold right before my eyes in the checkout line. Now before I launch into the whole amazing tale, I’ll give you a chance right now to just click away.
Because, you know…this story likely may not interest you like it did me.
So if you want to click away, go ahead and listen to Matt and Savannah Shaw sing, “What the World Needs Now Is Love”. You won’t be sad you did.
BUT if you stayed, well, I’ll just remind you that I love stories. I love to hear yours. I love to observe stories. And it’s especially wonderful when they get served up with an wonderful side of EXTRA…you know an EXTRAordinary story.
Decorating for events and clients homes, creates the “need” for just the perfect piece to fill a certain spot, so I’m ever on a quest for those unique and one of a kind items.
Albeit, I feel over run by them at the moment…but that’s beside the point, and I digress.
Having ten minutes to spare, I ran to the local Goodwill just at opening time and followed a girl and a couple of adults who could have been her parents, into the store.
The girl limped and her right arm was drawn close to her body.
She was dressed nicely and had a cute hairstyle.
The large turquoise band of her watch which circled her wrist was accentuated with friendship bracelets.
Just inside the entrance sat a handsome young man, who was greeting shoppers from his wheelchair.
His appearance was striking with a shock of wavy dark brown hair.
Off-setting his smile were bright blue eyes, the color of fresh pool water.
Through his speech impediment and bright cheerful personality, he told each customer,
“The color of the week, this week, is yellow.”
Some people just brushed past him as as though he never spoke. Some nodded that they had heard.
Others who had grown to know him a little, like I have, engaged in a couple of minutes of light-hearted chit-chat.
Circling the store quickly and finding the perfect item, for my task, a piece of milk glass, I headed to check out.
Falling in line behind the girl with the arm drawn close to her side and her “parents’, I noticed that she communicated with a series of grimaces and groans.
The store employees knew her and hugged her and told her how glad they were to see her.
And she grimaced.
The “dad” asked her if the found what she needed. Holding a pair of black capris to her chest, she looked down their length as they hung limply toward her feet.
He responded with, “Yeah, I think you can really make that work.”
As they checked out, the young man with the pool water blue eyes rolled his chair over to her.
Gently and ever so carefully, as though testing the temperature on a premature baby’s brow,
he laid his hand on her shoulder which was left bare by the straps of her halter top.
She turned backwards to smile at him and he opened his arms wide.
Slowly, methodically, with robotic and jerky movements, they hugged a long knowing friendship kind of hug.
She stood up after leaning down to his embrace. He called her by name and distinctly forming each word past the hesitance of his speech and signaling with his hands and flailing his arms across his chest, he said,
“Kaaatieeee, I LOOOVVEE you!”
As he spoke, his brilliant eyes darkened and the pool water looked like it could spill over the brim of his eyelids. His forehead furrowed with emotion.
He looked deeply at her to see if she understood the magnitude of what he had spoken. I believe if he could have lifted his body which was stuffed deep in the confines of his cushioned chair, he would have embraced her and waltzed with her around the check out, up one aisle and down the other, to the strains of the big band music blasting across the sound system of the store.
Katie (not her real name) twisted toward him.
and that … was that …
It is likely they have a specific diagnosis. And yet, there they were, going about their day as though nothing was wrong. They were reaching out and showing love that appeared as authentic as breathing. They seemed oblivious to the stares of the people who brushed past without a word.
Within a span of 3 minutes I saw a beautiful broken story of human nature…
…a beautiful broken story…of love.
I stood in line, watching love expressed in their brokenness..
and I thought about how broken…
how truly broken I am…
how truly broken you are…
WE are broken.
BROKEN, I tell ya’!
And we dress our brokenness up in beautiful clothes
And the latest hair style
And get our dream job…or not
And go about our day hiding all the broken…
hiding rebellion and hate and envy and jealousy
and acting like nothing is wrong…just hiding
and we dress up our “diagnosis”
and go about our day trying to hide the truth.
But what would we be
what would our world be if our “brokenness” was exposed
exposed to stares
and ones who brushed by
or “called us out”.
And what if instead, we quit hiding
and reached out gently
to others who are broken
and from the depths of who we are
“I LOVE YOU!”
And because we can stand tall,
begin the waltz of love and kindness
toward the other broken ones.
“What the World Needs Now Is LOVE”
Just some good ole’ plain LOVE served up with a side of EXTRA!
EXTRA-ordinary love and kindness.
I’ll take my broken and go first. Are you in line too?
Thank you so much for commenting and subscribing and liking and sharing. It means the world to me to have you part of this great group. If you know someone this post might encourage, please feel free to share with them also. If I can help you in anyway, please don’t hesitate to message me.