As I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to realize that every moment can be full of meaningful intersections that make you stop and reflect on the beauty life has to offer. Sometimes, in the strangest of places you experience a priceless moment.
This morning was one of those times.
Today, I had the pleasure of meeting a young lady, by the name of Sandy. We met while she was eating breakfast. As I walked by, she looked up at me and said:
“I remember you. You’re the tall guy. You came back!”
We chatted while she ate her breakfast. She told me about her son (Eric) and enjoyed several good laughs together. Sandy has had quite the life, living all over the country and experiencing a lot of realities that you and I will never come close to experiencing.
In spite of having a life of hardship, Sandy showed a level of gratitude and joy that I rarely find in others – or myself.
As she was turning to leave, Sandy and I shared a long embrace together. I didn’t want to let go.
“I love you, Aaron.”
“I love you too, Sandy.”
She turned to leave, and I felt a peace overwhelm me that I couldn’t quite explain. The love she offered was as authentic as the embrace we shared, reminding me of a hug I received, which lifted me out of a very dark place.
Sandy wasn’t a young lady. We didn’t meet at a cafe. Rather, she was well into her sixties. It was the love she radiated which made me see her as somebody much younger than the elderly woman pushing herself out of the homeless shelter in her walker.
Sandy startled me with the love she freely extended me, without knowing me for longer than a few minutes. It reminded me of the way a child sees the world before life happens to them; free, full of love, and innocence.
Somewhere along the line, this childish love seems to get knocked from our hands; breaking like a delicate vase that has been smashed by a thief.
Love, which once seemed to free to give, becomes something others have to earn.
Sandy showed me a new shade of love this morning. It was a kind of love that reminded me that heaven can be found anywhere you choose to make it. It isn’t environmental, or bound by your possessions. Rather, it shows itself when love is allowed to do what it does best; radiate freely, without judgment or holding back.