Posts Tagged ‘stranger’

First impressions always trip me up.  I think that perhaps I often over-think them.  But this isn’t about me.  This is a story about Sadie, the other me that is more adventurous than I.  Perhaps you will never meet the likes of her, but I think us ladies all have a little bit of Sadie in us.  Suffice it to say, she has a story that she would like to share on my WordPress since hers isn’t quite fully constructed.  It is a story about a first impression, and about where that impression is now…

I had been looking for a new place of community for myself and found one.  Perhaps I was looking for a mate, but I won’t go into that right now.  I had found a community, a place where people were a little stiff, but they told the truth, they actually cared about the good.  I decided to become involved, volunteer within the community serving where I could.  I enjoyed what I was doing.  One day, one of the leaders and his wife asked me out to lunch, along with us was a guy that I had never met.  For safety’s sake, we’re going to call that guy Hunter.  Hunter was a moderately tall, dark haired guy.  He had bags under his eyes and he shuffled his feet.  He didn’t say too much to me or to the leader and his wife.  Our introductions were pretty much non-existent because he really didn’t acknowledge my presence.  During our lunch outing, the leader and wife and I engaged in conversation, sharing stories about the community as well as adventures in our own lives.  Hunter remained at the end of the table, head pointed a little more down than would be acceptable since it was a social lunch, and you could just tell — Hunter had a chip on his shoulder and a burden on his heart.

We continued with our lunch excursion for another hour or so.  Eventually, we made our way back to our cars and said farewell.  The memory of Hunter stayed with me all day.  By the next day, I was curious, however, I didn’t feel that I should pry or ask the leader about his story.  Eventually, the memory of the lunch outing faded away as a distant memory.  That was the first impression.

Fast forward about a year.  I am volunteering my time within this wonderful community that is pretty much powered by volunteers.  A new volunteer enters the picture, it’s Hunter, or it least it looked like him.  Hunter seemed the same, generally speaking, however, his countenance had been transformed into one that was happy, cheerful, goofy.  He loved serving within the community and with what we were doing.  I really couldn’t believe my eyes.  Hunter had dramatically changed.

I decided to stay back from him, didn’t know what to make of things.  Over the next year, I found that since we volunteered within the same group, we were thrown together in certain instances.  We would talk and have conversations about general things, look forward to the upcoming events, and discuss members of our community that we were concerned about or were thinking about and wanted to help.  As time passed, we began to talk about many other things, more personal, closer to our hearts, closer to our spirits.  It was then that I realized that a real transformation had taken place within my heart and within Hunter’s.  I had to tell him about my first impression of him and ask him what had happened that could have made him that way and yet completely different.  Hunter said that that day when he went to lunch with us, he was carrying such a heavy weight of guilt, of regret, of sadness.  He couldn’t get away from thinking about something that was troubling his spirit.  But because of his faith, Hunter realized that something good could be done with the bad.

Today, Hunter seems to be a very far cry from the Hunter I first met.  He engages the community in a wonderful way.  Though he has had some troubling items of his past come to the surface sometimes, he clings to the hope that these things learned then, make him a better person for tomorrow.  I have a great love for this friend; he has helped me to face change and challenges when I wanted to run; to make a way with faith when there seems to be no way.  Hunter was and is a holy helper.  Glad I didn’t lose all hope from that first impression.  I’m glad that we have been brought together in friendship for a purpose that is greater than us.

This brief short story will be one of 28 as I endeavor to write 28 stories of love for the month of February.  I know that there is healing in hope and restoration in faith.  The only obstacle that we have is the obstacle to believe in that hope and trust in the faith that God provides to us.  Can’t tell you how grateful I am that He never let go of me, of us.

FAITH. HOPE. LOVE…but the greatest of these is LOVE.  Happy February.

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