Do I offer strangers a warm welcome?
Recently on a trip with a good friend and her daughter to celebrate her daughter’s 18th birthday. We enjoyed a fabulous afternoon tea. The tables in the restaurant were close together, and a mother and her daughter sitting beside us smiled and leaned over to wish my friend’s daughter a happy birthday. Before I knew it, we were talking and sharing stories like old friends. We all enjoyed the conversation and learning more about each other. This moment of grace among strangers enhanced the special time that we enjoyed on the trip.
It is easy to stay within our own little bubbles of family and friends and not reach out to the people all around us. However, when we do, I think we are all missing out on opportunities to reach out to strangers with a smile, conduct a conversation, and make a connection. I have been making an effort to not grab my smartphone when I am waiting in line or on an elevator and offering those around me a “hello” or a smile. When I am in a waiting room, I try to interact with people around me. At church, I greet the ushers and those sitting around me, and stay to chat with people after Mass. These are little efforts but I have been amazed at the responses. Sometimes I might receive a smile in return or a short conversation, but other times I have had a more meaningful conversation or connection. It allows me to shine God’s light to those around me and to receive God’s grace in return. These become Holy Moments, as Matthew Kelly advocates.
Who knows where God may be leading me when I welcome a stranger into my life – I may even make a new friend!
What efforts did I make today to welcome a stranger into my life?
Thank you, God, for all of the people that you bring into my life – family, friends, and strangers. Please grant me the grace to welcome others in Your name and bring Your light to those all around me. Authentically Yours.