This afternoon 250 of our organization's leaders gathered in one room, to sing; worship; tell stories; listen--and laugh together. It was the middle day of the week, and people in group A of the leadership conference, overlapped with group B and we were all together.
Our CEO, Ed Sider, shared his story, which spanned over 50 years and was really was a series of many stories. I want to share one of them here:
There had been stress; sustained over a considerable amount of time, and on this particular morning, he had to come to Toronto, early in the morning for another day of huge pressure.
He arrived at Yorkdale at 6.30 a.m. to catch the subway to his destination and stopped to use the washroom. He washed his hands and was leaving, when he passed a stranger who smiled and said, "Have a good day."
Ed went a few feet and then turned back to the washroom. Finding the man again, he said, "Thank you for the encouragement; I needed that today."
The man said, "You're a Christian, aren't you?"
Ed said, "Yes."
"So am I," said the man, "Just go about your day with confidence. It will work out."
A kind blessing from a stranger, that made all the difference in the world to someone worn down and discouraged by a battle he was facing.
The story reminded me of the importance of taking time to notice those around me; to smile, and encourage them if I can, even in some small way. We never know the difference a kindness that we think so insignificant, might make.
1 Thessalonians 5:15 b (New International Version)
15 ... always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else.