Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Blessings in Disguise

I have to start off by apologizing for taking such a long break between blogs. I know that’s a no-no, but things have been crazy in every possible way over the last few weeks. But hey – if life didn’t throw me a curve ball every once in awhile I wouldn’t have anything good to write about!

Fortunately some of the craziness has been due to fun stuff. Two weeks ago, we took a long weekend down to Fripp Island, which is off the southernmost tip of South Carolina, just outside of Beaufort. It was the first time we’d taken Bowman, our Greyhound, to the beach, and we had a blast! We had the most fun at Hunting Island, which is one giant state park/nature preserve right outside of Fripp. There is no development on the island, and the beaches are pristine. There is a lighthouse which my husband climbed while I stayed w/ the dog, and a really cool nature trail that goes through the dunes and along a tidal creek. I had never hiked at the beach before, and it was a really neat experience. But I think the best part of the day was the most unexpected.

When you have a unique dog that thinks all people were put on earth to pet him, you tend to end up talking with people you normally wouldn’t. While Ben was climbing the lighthouse, a woman asked if she could pet Bowman, and we struck up a conversation. Eventually her husband wandered up from the beach and Ben finished with the lighthouse, and we all ended up talking together.

They were a nuclear engineer and a teacher, and both were in their mid to late 50’s. They lived in San Diego, and were camping their way across the country. We ended up talking about anything and everything, from the best part about South Carolina to education in America. I was amazed at what an encouragement these random people were to us – they were so wise, and they seemed genuinely interested in who we were and what we were contributing to the world. The conversation ended up lasting about 2 hours, and it was an incredible source of confirmation and affirmation for us.

Religion never came up in our conversation, and I’m not positive if these people were Christians. However, I know that God had to have put them in our path, and that our time with them was definitely a blessing from Him.

It makes me wonder – how many times do I miss out on these kinds of little blessings? I am introverted by nature, and I am a master at being kind and polite as I craftily keep people at a distance. I tend to invest very deeply in my friends and family and pay little attention to casual acquaintances or the world at large. Being overtly friendly just doesn’t come naturally to me, and it’s never been particularly important to me either. But maybe it’s more worthwhile than I thought. You never know when a seemingly insignificant encounter could turn into a lasting blessing.

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