The Importance of Strangers

Last week I introduced the idea of being open with strangers as a spiritual practice. Now let’s share stories. Here is mine.

When I left Graduate school as a final hurrah my daughter and I were going to Disneyland and while there we were going to visit a friend who was going to take our bird. Where we were moving to no birds were allowed. I did the research with airlines, bought a special carrier and a huge box to put the bird’s cage in and was all set.

We squeeze the box into the car, and we headed to the airport. When it came time to check in they told us I could not take the bird on the plane, even though I had been told I could. We even waited to see if the pilot would be ok with it and they said no. At that moment the entire stress of ending school, moving, an unknown future with an 11-year old and given up a beloved pet hit and I was in tears.

We had to go to a special part of the baggage claim area to reclaim our checked bags. By that time I had pulled myself together and, dejected, we waited for the huge box and our luggage. All the while listening to Speckles (our bird) chirping away nervously. When the baggage claim person saw me, he must of known something was up by my tear stained face and the first thing out of his mouth was “would you like me to pray with you?”.

I could have been stoic and said no that we were fine. Instead, I was open to this stranger and said yes and we prayed in the middle of the empty baggage area. That stranger in just a few moments changed my world that day. I no longer felt the weight of the world on my shoulders.

We ended up renting a car and having a great time.

A few moments of being open to a stranger allowed me to feel connected to the Spirit and humanity in a way that words cannot describe. He will never know what an impact he made on me. Both of us were just in that moment that felt eternal.

What is your Stranger Story? Feel free to share it. I know you will bless some other strangers on the way.

May you find ways to connect with those you do not know this week.