Sometime ago, I received an email from a man I had met twice, both times on the same day while riding to and from work on public transportation. I appreciated the thoughtfulness of this man so much that I included the email in my journal. Here is a portion of that email.
I’m the man who you talked with on the bus in the morning and on TRAX in the evening. I just wanted to let you know what an impact our visit had on me.
I went home last night and told my wife about you and your family. I gave her a hug and told her we needed to work on our relationship. … I told her about all the struggles you are going through and what a truly nice man you are.
I hope you don’t mind my contacting you like this, but my heart has been very tender ever since we talked. This morning I knelt and prayed for you and your family, something I haven’t done very much recently. Suddenly so many other things in life aren’t nearly so important when considering what you, your wife, and your sons are dealing with.
I have your name on the monitor of my computer and will be thinking about all of you in the days to come. As I looked around at the people on the bus this morning, I wondered what struggles and trials they might be enduring. Life is certainly a mystery and most of us take it for granted. I’m sure that you are not taking it for granted now.
From this chance meeting I felt like I made a friend for life. Although I haven’t had any more contact with him since October 2001, I still remember the email and the impact it had on me.
From this experience I learned that relationships can be created from simple actions that only take a few minutes. The results of this chance meeting still affect me. How many similar, simple experiences do we have with our children? And do we take the time to discuss and appreciate them with our children?
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