We visited Frankenmuth, Michigan, and brought our kids to see the largest Christmas store in the world. We had been shopping in Bronner’s Christmas store for a while, and everyone was getting hungry.
They had a cafeteria style restaurant right in the middle, so we thought that would be a great place to get some lunch. We definitely needed to keep our strength up to continue shopping in this giant store. You know how bouncy and wiggly children can be. They were all in line with us, picking out food, juggling trays and wiggling. We had 7 or 8 of them with us and I was concentrating on keeping track of all of them and trying to choose enough food to keep everyone happy, and still manage to stay within a reasonable budget. I’m praying, please God don’t let them do anything crazy so I don’t look like a bad Mom.
I’m aware that people are around me but not necessarily who they are because I’m usually busy worrying about trying to keep the kids behaving well in public. It was very crowded that day and we were trying not to hold up the line too much. We got to the checkout and as my husband went to pay with a card, the lady said they only take cash. How old fashioned, right? As he started to ask if there was an ATM in the building, and could we just sit down close by with our 8-10 trays of food while he ran quickly to get the money, the man behind me piped up and said he’d pay for all of our food, because he knew we were good for it!
So many thoughts flashed through my mind, at a zillion miles and hour. The thoughts were something along the lines of, ‘Oh no, who was this person? Why on earth would he say that he knew we were good for the money? How long had he been directly behind me while I struggled with so many children? Did the children misbehave? Was I too lenient or harsh with them? How do I look?’
Can you believe those thoughts? I should have been thinking, ‘Oh my, who is the kind person behind us?’ ‘Wow, I am so grateful that someone is being thoughtful to us.’ ‘I’m so happy to be out with my beautiful little dears and I hope this nice man can see how awesome they all are.’ You can probably think of 10 more mature thoughts that I should have had, but I was flustered and startled and self absorbed. What are the odds of us meeting people we barely know at that moment in time who seem to recognize us? I love to think about the odds of coincidences happening, because it’s fun. Imagine the chances of all worlds coming together and setting up this scenario.
My goal is to add value to your life. I want to be blessing to everyone around me. But I can’t do that if I’m only worried about how I look rather than thinking of you first. If I only get to meet you as a stranger for a moment in time, I can at least give you a nice word or a sweet smile. I want to put a ribbon on top of your day and make your day feel like a gift.
I know that we impact others as we navigate through life and since they caught us by surprise that day in Frankenmuth, I hope that we were a blessing to them, as they certainly were to us. We had the chance to meet them and interact with them but the odds are just as good that they might have seen us and we might never have known it. If only I can be a blessing to others, even when I don’t know it. Wouldn’t that be awesome?
Have you ever had a coincidental meeting with someone and you wished it had gone better? Have you ever had a coincidental meeting with someone, and you’re so pleased the way you were able to bless each other?