Brian bought a book a while ago called "Just Walk Across The Room", written by Bill Hybels. In short, the book is about what it's title says, taking the time to walk across the room to that person standing alone and saying hi. Basically stepping outside your "zone", being aware of who or what is going on around you and allowing yourself to be vulnerable. I don't know about you, but this is not an easy thing for me to do. Recently though, I have been reminded about this book through the experiences I am having here in North Carolina.
A couple of weeks ago, Brian was playing music at one of our favorite coffee shops. I was sitting with Zachary while Brian was playing. I noticed a mom walk in with a stroller and a baby inside. The baby was tiny. I scooped up Zachary and walked over to say hi and congratulate her on her new little one. As I walked up I noticed that the little girl had a brace around her jaw. As I said hello, the mom began to share their story with me. Her little girl was 4 months old and had been born with a small jaw that did not allow her to breathe, eat or swallow correctly. The doctors had to break her jaw and reset it. She had been in the NICU for many weeks. She was due to get her brace removed the following Tuesday. We sat and shared our NICU stories. It's a moment I can't really do justice to writing about it. We had an immediate connection and her story touched my heart deeply. I gave her my information and invited her to email me so we could get together again. I still pray that she will email me one of these days. But even if we never meet again, that small encounter was life changing. Brian said, "You never know what can happen when you just walk across the room.". How true, how true.
This past week Zachary and I went to a park play date for moms in the area. We went and met some really nice moms. It was a fun day. While we were at the park, I noticed an older lady sitting next to a young boy on a swing. I walked over with Zachary and said hello and commented on the beautiful day. We ended up introducing ourselves and she invited Zachary and I to sit next to them. She was there with her grandson whom she watches every day. We discovered that we lived in neighboring subdivisions. She usually met friends at the park so the kids could play together, but that day the friends could not come. As I shared with her about Zachary and his journey, she began to tell me about the friends that usually go to the park with them. They had trouble having kids and ended up adopting two children. Their story was amazing and beautiful. Since Brian and I have talked and prayed about the possibility of adopting one day, this conversation resonated deep in my soul.
It's amazing what can happen if we just walk across the room. It's not easy and it isn't always an amazing experience. It's definitely about being vulnerable. I've taken chances with different groups, only to feel like an outsider. Not everyone knows how to include others or make others feel welcome. I think it may be a lost art. But I am convinced that this art can flourish again. Go ahead, walk across the room and see who God introduces you to. Feel free to share your stories too. I'd love to hear them!