The Friend I've Never Met, 2

Jeanette Berry, July 1994

Update!  A few months ago I mentioned "the friend I had never met"---a fellow I passed each morning as I left to go to school.  He was walking, I was driving.  We moved from a "relationship" of not even acknowledging one another to one of anticipated greetings, yet we had never spoken.

Well, I finally met him!  My friend had disappeared and my disappointment seemed renewed each morning as I drove to school without our usual moment of passing.  But since I knew nothing about him I had no way to look him up.  I regretted that I had not taken time to stop.  I was always in a hurry.

One morning I had stopped by the bank and as I was pulling out of the parking lot, guess who walked by---my walker friend!  I stopped the car, delighted not only to see him, but to have an opportunity to find out who he was.  I think he was as delighted as I as we introduced ourselves.  I told him how much his smile as we passed each morning made my day brighter and how I had recently missed him.  After I left I thought about all the words I had said to a total stranger.

This is a very simple story, but it has prompted me to realize the impact we have on the lives of others.  Here was a fellow who was just walking down the street each morning and yet his smile and greeting could influence my day.  If we knew how our lives make an impact on those who God brings into our paths we would certainly be more careful about our attitudes, our appearance, and our actions.  Books and songs have been written about this.  Teachers and preachers admonish us to walk circumspectly, but now I have a living example of what an impact a person can make in your life without ever saying a word---or even being aware of it.

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