What does it mean to be present with someone’s pain? It means to see them. To feel them. And in that moment of acknowledgement you find a connection. Even through the smallest of acts.
Kali and I are visiting clients today. She asked to go to Starbucks to get her favorite bagel. I placed my order and ran with her to the potty. Upon returning to the counter I see her bag with my name on it and before I can grab it an elderly man with an oxygen apparatus grabs it and goes to a corner to eat it. I stood there in awed. I actually laughed in disbelief.
So I return to the line and asked for another. The young man asked if I got it and I tell him the little guy took it. He’s shocked. I asked him to please not make a big deal. So he gifts me another bagel. I ask to please pay for it. He tells me, “No way! You are too kind and generous. The man should be paying for it!”
I stand there, folks in line behind me, and I motion him with my index finger to come closer over the counter. “He is dying. You and I are not. Well, maybe but not at this moment. Let’s gift him this moment of consideration.”
His eyes water. I move away from the line. The elderly man is struggling with Kali’s bagel. I wink at him even though he avoids my eyes. I see him. He lowers his eyes in shame. I see the cream cheese leak out of his mouth. I grab a napkin and hand it to him.
“God bless you. Would you like some coffee?” I asked.
Tears start to swell in his eyes. “No, thank you.” He whispers it as if each syllable cuts his throat.
Kali and I grabbed our new package and leave. She said, “Mama, that man is going to heaven too!”
I sit with her in the car feeling the sorrow. And I pray for a smooth journey. We are all on this path trying to find ourselves.
Be kind, darlings! You never know the battles others are enduring. Every minute we get an opportunity to learn a lesson. Stay open to that magic. ~m.a.p.