Yesterday it was an unexpected desire for a real strawberry milkshake that took my mom, hubby and I out on an unexpected drive. I was longing for that milkshake and so we took the 15 minute drive out of town for that milkshake. I confess it was a long drive for a milkshake but I felt that I had to have that specific one.
While I was drinking my milkshake and reclining comfortably on a couch-like chair, my mom and hubby ate huge waffles with ice cream and strawberries. People were all over the show, in and out, in and out when suddenly a woman walked in the back door with a big basket in her hand. I wondered at what she was carrying, she looked like someone carrying confetti out to guests on a wedding day. So I watched her as she walked, she smiled and stopped by our table for a little chat. As I peered in to her basket I felt like one of those little five year old girls with ribbons in my hair, shouting "it's a puppy!" The cutest miniature dachshund lie in the basket of blankets, snugly and sleepily. Wow my mom and I exclaimed (my mom has two dachshunds!) and we both asked about the dog. The lady seemed drawn to us and started sharing with us, as though she had to speak to us that day.
"I fell out of a four story building overseas" she said, "I fell on to my head and was in a coma for several months. If I was here in South Africa I would have been dead but overseas where I was, a team of seven specialists worked on me and I recovered."
I listened to her story and just stood breathless, we all connected in that moment. "Do you have any memory loss?" I asked.
"Yes I do, I cant remember short term. I was engaged as well but I cant remember it, I dont even remember the guy! We broke up 3 months before the accident - so you see what a blessing in disguise!" she smiled.
A blessing? I thought.
"I have moved in with my mom and am staying there, I dont remember much short term."
"So your life really is like that Vow movie," I added. "Well, dogs are good for healing."
"Exactly! That is why I got her, she is a part of my healing journey now and I am naming her after my childhood dog."
We said our final words and she parted, still holding her basket as though she was the flower girl, as though she had to give it away or give something out. My heart felt really moved and pained at her story, and at the trauma or impact of the accident which still lingers on her gait, on her form and on her face. I pray for her, I pray for her healing. Her positive attitude and gentleness really struck me and I wonder today at the beautiful power of our stories. Our life stories can seem so painful at times, so unnecessary, and yet someone else's story can impact a stranger. Our circles in life cross sometimes for just brief moments but our impacts can last longer. I sometimes feel we go out of our ways on the roads of life - both physically and spiritually, so that we can encounter or hear something that is meant for us to hear. I am grateful to God for the stories that I have heard from the people I was meant to meet. Some stories pick us up and others leave us down. I like the stories where God picks us up and allows us to see His Love touches, His Grace and even the resilence He gives to the Human spirit so that we can survive and ultimately thrive.
May your story be one that picks others up - even if it is a painful story, because of Gods Grace and His Love that flows through it. Never underestimate the power of your words or of your story! That lady whose brief moments were spent sharing with us, really did transform her in to a flower girl - with something beautiful to give out. Some of our stories are cut in to hearts, others may be flowers or appear like vapor bubbles blown on the wind. But ultimately when they are seen in the right light and given over to the Healing Hand of God, they have the universal ability to be confetti that we throw over others - confetti that we give away, for others to give away, and so the circle continues..