Friday, August 31, 2007

Random act of friendly

Today, Katie and I did some clothes shopping. Over the course of our relationship, I am learning to be more patient when it comes to shopping for women's clothes, as it is more of a "browse" than a "get the one thing I want and leave" sort of shopping. I ended up waiting outside of the women's fitting room in Nordstrom. This usually makes me feel a little creepy ("what's that guy hanging out here for?") but today it turned out ok.

There were two chairs in the waiting area, so I sat in one. Since the two chairs were placed close to each other, I assumed no one would sit there, because that would probably be awkward. So I was very surprised when a young woman sat down next to me. We sat in awkward silence for a moment, then she cheerfully asked who I was waiting for. I told her I was waiting for my wife--we both agreed that my wife was very cute in her new shorts--and we ending up chatting for a few moments until her sister-in-law came out with her new wardrobe. We parted ways. I will probably never see her again.

It's strange, but a simple pleasant conversation with a stranger can be a bright point in a person's day. I don't tend to remember the awkward spots in social situations (unless they're really awkward). But I do remember the times when people chose to take a risk and be friendly to someone next to them. It wasn't weird or intimidating; it was genuine and friendly.

In our increasingly individualistic culture, where we can't even muster the courage to speak to a stranger sitting next to us, we could be missing out on something important. Jesus seemed like the kind of guy who could talk to strangers and make their day (check out John 4 and 5). Perhaps we should be the kind of people who strive to speak to strangers out of love more often.

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