I did absolutely nothing but evidently I did something.
I could not believe what that lady said to me Sunday morning in church. Especially, as I didn't even know her. What could I have done for her to say those words to me?
On this morning we were running a bit late for church. Of all mornings, Easter morning. We had gone about a mile from our house when my wife said, “Oh, I forgot to put the ham in the oven.” After church all the family was to come to our house for dinner and Easter celebrations. You know the routine; hide eggs, kids eat too many chocolate bunnies and a big Sunday dinner. So we turned around and headed back to our house, put the ham in the oven and off again. When we got to church the usher walked us all the way to the front. I mean the front row. There were probably 1,000 plus folks in this auditorium and yes sir we got front row seats. Hey, this isn’t Elvis, this is church. We were close enough we could reach out and touch the Rev.
When services were over a lady who had been sitting next to me touched me lightly on the arm and said something that took me by complete surprise. Two words. Eight letters. “Thank You.” Hum, I thought, didn’t know I still had that kind of charm. "Thank you for what?" “I’m so glad you sat next to me this morning.” I didn’t know the lady, had never seen her before and she was thanking me. “I don’t understand” I said. “You reminded me so, so much of my younger brother, not only in looks but as you sat there this morning , your gestures, the way you folded your arms, crossed your legs, you were him to the letter."
"My brother died just three weeks previous and I have really been struggling with his passing and his memory. I really didn’t want to come to church this morning, now I am so glad I did. You have no way of knowing what sitting next to you has done for me. You have brought forth so many good thoughts and good memories.”
I asked her to sit down with me and we talked further. As we prepared to leave I thanked her for her kind words, in fact we hugged one another and I told her again what a pleasure it was meeting her, I hoped we would do so again soon.
Isn’t it interesting how sometimes we find ourselves wanting to do something to help another person. We think we need to say something or do something but we feel helpless. Here today all I did was show up and sit on the front row. We never know what our presence might do for another…think on that…and look for those “front row” opportunities in your life.
Maybe there was a reason my wife forgot to put the ham in the oven, making us just late enough to be ushered to the front row. Maybe, just maybe.