This week I needed to go to the Post Office to mail a letter. As Fall is upon us here at CFC and the pace of my days has picked up, it was just another errand to run and another item to cross off the ol’ list. Anyone else who keeps running lists of “stuff to do” will understand how this goes! I was in the zone of getting items accomplished—went into the lobby and placed my letter in the mail slot. Walked out and pushed the button at the crosswalk, waiting to see that electronic signal that crossing the street back to church was now safe.
Waiting on the other side of Main Street directly opposite me was a teenager. And from a distance he looked, well, a little sullen. His pants were baggy and his backpack was slung over one shoulder rather haphazardly. He looked like maybe he didn’t have a great day from the expression on his face, to be perfectly honest. It’s not an uncommon experience when you’re a teenager, of course. Though it made me smile a little that even from a distance I could sense some teenage angst across the street.
The light turned red, the walk signal appeared, and it was now our turn to cross the street. We walked our respective paths right at each other and as we got closer he flashed me a quick smile. And with a friendly, confident air about him said, “Good afternoon!” His greeting actually startled me—this friendly and polite greeting by a kid I had assumed to be in a sullen teenaged mood! So much so that I only managed a surprised, “Oh! Hey.” in response. We both went on our merry ways for the day, but this simple exchange stayed with me.
It was a reminder to watch out for preconceived notions and judgments (as Jesus warned us a long time ago.) It was a reminder that a simple, polite, and friendly greeting amid one’s routine really does make a difference. It was a reminder that people can surprise us. So, wherever you are when reading this quick note from yours truly—I wish YOU a good day!
(This Week’s Thoughts 9.29.17)