|No lemon face today|
The Love of a Stranger
When I’m in public places, I try to smile as much as possible. Years ago, when I was traveling with my children, my daughter looked at me and said, “Mom, you have your thinking face on.” At the time, I didn’t know what she was talking about so I asked her. She scrunched up her little face and said “Like this.” She looked as if she’d been eating lemons.
I laughed and told her that she was making it up, but later that same day, when I was deep in thought, I looked up and caught my reflection in a mirror and it was just as my daughter had described.
Now when I travel, and even when I’m not, I smile. When I see a small child, I smile even bigger. Almost always, I am rewarded with the wide-eyed wonderful toothless grin from a kid who really needs all of our attention.
Yesterday though, I wasn’t feeling well. As much as I tried to smile, I couldn’t. So instead, I sang softly to myself, hoping that my thinking face was nowhere to be seen.
On a good day, traveling is hectic, but I was miserable and just about to feel sorry for myself; that's when Love stepped in.
It was if Love had spoken to strangers, asking them to encourage me onward.
As I was boarding a flight, a woman told me that she loved my earrings and my haircut; “You’ve got it going on sister,” she said. She sounded as if she’d been watching a lot of Oprah and was trying to use the right vernacular. I forced a smile and told her I truly appreciated it.
Then a guy turned around and said, I was thinking the same thing, but I didn’t want to seem forward. The flight attendant joined in saying that she had been wondering how I had gotten such beautiful skin.
I couldn’t hold them back; the tears came streaming down my face and I smiled through them.
Not wanting to look like a nut, I smiled bigger and told them that I was having a bad head day but their encouragement had been the healing I needed.
My sister from another mister laughed and said, “Girlfriend if this is a bad day, then that brother up there had better watch out for the good one.”
You probably already know where I’m going, but I’m going to go there anyway; you never know when someone might need your encouragement. Don’t hold it back.
If you are thinking a good thought about someone; share it.
If a kind word comes to mind; put it out there.
We have no problem sharing our frustration, anger and resentment; so let’s do the same with our compliments.
Today, I feel like a million bucks and I wish I could find that sister. I’d present myself to her and say, “See, look what your love did.”
Be you, be well, be Love.
Bertice Berry, PhD.