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No one is really a stranger

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Regina Andrews - published on 12/21/23

It's undeniable that there is a connection. But how do I categorize it? What type of connection could this be called? 

Going about my business on a daily basis in the neighborhood, I encounter the same people quite frequently. This familiarity leads to a sense of kinship, but has never crossed the line into real friendship or relationship. Still, I somehow feel like I know them.

For instance, when I’m on my way to work every morning, I pass a fellow who is out for his daily walk. His loping gait caught my attention in the beginning. And then when I came home from lunch one day, I saw him walking again. What happened on my way home from work? There he was walking down the boulevard again – this time headed the other direction.

Well, what happened the next day? I saw him again with his sunglasses and his loping gait. The following day was a repeat of the previous “encounters.” Before long, I was very used to seeing him on my route and figured that we were both sort of on the same schedule. One day on an impulse, I waved to him and he waved back with a huge warm smile. And that’s how it started – ever since then every time we see each other we have continued our waving acquaintance.

Then over a weekend a short time afterwards I was out for a walk, not on the boulevard, but in another area of town and who did I run into on my walk? It was him! We were headed in opposite directions but our paths crossed directly. We said hello to each other and as we moved apart I called: “What’s your name?”

“Mike!” he answered.

“Hi Mike! I’m Gina!”

“Great, see you later, Gina!”

We went on our separate ways that day, but every time after when we saw each other we wouldn’t just wave. We’d be making eye contact and giving a thumbs up or an OK sign. Seeing that and exchanging greetings with him without breaking our strides became part of my everyday routine.This went on nearly every day for nearly a year.

But one spring day I was out on my errands and I didn’t see Mike. I wondered where he was but I hoped he had something fun to do and I figured I would see him the next day. However that didn’t happen; I didn’t see him the next day or the day after that or the day after that. 

Spring turned to summer, and summer turned to fall. My imagination went to every conceivable possibility, from him having relocated to being on a ventilator in some foreign country after a disastrous vacation accident. After so much time of not seeing him, I really didn’t think that our paths would cross again. I kept him in my prayers, hoping he was safe.

And then one day, lo and behold, I saw his familiar figure loping down the street. He was coming towards me and spotted me immediately, waving enthusiastically. Relief filled my heart. I rolled down my window and called, “Hey Mike!”

“Hey Gina! See you tomorrow!” he replied.

I drove past, continuing on my errands with the spirit of happiness and peace. But I was also confused; I don’t really know Mike, we’re not friends, and we’ve never said anything more than pleasantries to each other. Yet, it’s undeniable that there is a connection. But how do I categorize it? What type of connection could this be called? 

I prayed on this, and the Holy Spirit’s message came quickly: “We are all one in God‘s eyes, and there are no strangers in the Spirit.” 

What a blessing for us all!

~

This is part of the series called “The Human Being Fully Alive” found here.

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The Human Being Fully Alive
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