“God doesn’t pass us messages, He gives us each other.” –Bob Goff
In a time where we are limited in our connections and interactions, the moments we see real people can become priceless. At least that’s what I’ve been finding in nearly seven months of less than our usual socialization. Facial features, voice tone and searching deeper into someone’s outward demeanor, has helped many of us increase our level of personal investigator status. Hanging on to each moment in time, for fear that it may be the last for a while, in anticipation that we may again be quarantined at any time. But even more, hopefully they are granting us the extra opportunity to see our relationships and human interactions as collective moments to see God and his goodness.
Many times recently, I have repeated in my home and in conversations, “people need people”. Those people are beautiful gifts and lives that God uses to bless us, bring us to our knees, or — like my experience in the waiting room at the dentist recently — to let us feel loved. Many outings with my children these days are far from what they used to be, but I do my best to let my children be carefree while feeling safe and protected. I have reminded them that we need to be intentional about spreading light and love with our eyes and our voices right now. I try to do the same. As we sat in the waiting room, we were eventually joined by an older woman, along with a man and another woman. I immediately placed them as the daughter and son-in-law of the older woman and within moments the conversation confirmed my presumption. It didn’t take long for the man to become interested in striking up a conversation with my five year old, Benny, who truthfully will engage in any conversation with near anyone who gives him eye contact. He’s a great conversationalist!
I began to watch and overhear the conversation between mother and grown daughter and smiled as our eyes met from time to time. In those moments, my ears heard a familiar voice in the woman and even her demeanor and subject of conversation. She sounded just like my grandma did more than a year ago, when everything was normal prior to 2020. I noted her Minnesota Twins mask, certain my grandma would have had one just like it. Her conversation topics ranged from her grandchildren and their children, to a neighbor and last night’s Twins game, but with each one I heard in the same delivery as my grandma (who passed away in March). The ordinary cares of the world, so simple on that weekday afternoon, but which brought tears to my eyes. Nearly overwhelmed, I texted my husband telling him about the woman and that I was feeling so overcome with emotion. I felt like I may have to leave the waiting room for fear my brimming eyes would overflow and run down my mask.
I didn’t. Instead, I stayed, listening to her soothing voice and watching Benny make his own connection in his conversation with the lady’s son-in-law. In that moment I felt a peace I had not felt in a while. In that waiting room I let God love me through a stranger. I’m so grateful He did and that two weeks later I can still feel Him and be overcome by emotion again. These days are not easy, friends. This year has been hard. Have you still found Him and seen him revealed through others? I pray you have. People need people. God is using each of us in many ways while we may not be together as often as we’d like. He’s using each of us to write valuable memories to one another and to sustain us.