The first time we met we both purchased our beverages separately.
It was a “first time guest” meeting of a gentleman who’d visited West once and he took me literally when I offered the opportunity to get to know more about West, faith, and how we could make his life different.
We met at Panera and actually, it was one of those rare meetings where you just seem to have so much in common that the hour quickly turned into two. Our lives intersected in some uncanny ways and he asked if we could meet again at a later date. He had some faith questions he’d been wrestling with and wanted pastoral counsel.
I recommended Richard Rohr’s Falling Upward. (It truly is a game changer book. It talks about our two halves of life and the ultimate lesson we need to learn. “In order to gain our lives, we first must lose them.”)
When we met a few months later to debrief Falling Upward, I noticed when I arrived there was already an empty cup at my seat.
I didn’t presume it to be mine so after I laid my books down and began to walk to the counter he said, “Hey, this is for you. It’s Diet Pepsi that you drink, right?”
I thought that was pretty impressive, actually. To notice what I drank after two meetings together. Certainly, he was mindful of his acquaintances.
For him to care about what I wanted and to take the initiative to procure it for me, it meant a lot. I knew in that moment that he would be someone I potentially could develop a deep friendship with.
To be mindful . . .
According to Dr. Les Parrott in Love Like That, being mindful is when we give others special attention.
A person who is mindful is not detached from reality or oblivious to what goes on around them. Instead – they see what is not readily perceptible.
They are watchful. Having their eyes out for what other people are missing – like little nonverbal behaviors that actually speak more loudly than words ever do.
The dictionary says, “to be mindful means to express affectionate interest through close observation and gallant gestures.”
Purchasing the soda cup for me that day, it was a gallant gesture. It didn’t require hundreds of dollars or big, expensive gifts.
But someone paying attention to the small things and then acting on it, it provided a beautiful pathway for an abiding friendship and love.
It took someone being mindful.
To whom can you be mindful today?
Where are there opportunities in your life that you can pay attention to the people that surround you and actually change your actions so that they can be the recipient of your thoughtfulness and love?
Mindfulness changes things.
It Is a deal-maker in our relationships!
Be the change agent today!
Grace and Peace,