Yesterday I was given a great gift just when I needed it. The gift was simple and I’m sure the person who gave it doesn’t have a clue she passed me something valuable. We were at an event after church and happened to be sitting next to each other.
She said: “Well, what’s going on in your life?” It might have started off as one of those “I’m fine, how are you? Fine” conversations but I actually began to talk about something real in my life. And you know what she did? She listened! She did it well too.
Because she had struggled through something similar years before she knew where I was coming from. She asked the right questions without being too intrusive. I asked some advice and she gave it but wasn’t overpowering or “know it all.” I got to tell my story to someone who was genuinely interested and who kindly let me vent.
When I got in my car to go home nothing had changed really, except that I felt a little lighter. As I drove, I breathed a sigh of relief and realized that I had been given something wonderful, yet pretty rare. The whole rest of the afternoon was more peaceful just because of our little talk.
The next time I’m making small talk with someone and say “Hey, what’s up with you?” –more out of politeness than anything else, I’m going to remember that gift. I’m going to listen well like she did to me. You know why? Because I’d like that next person to walk away just like I did, with a perfect gift.