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Lovely Afternoon to Be Kind!

A Year of Being Kind blog – Saturday, May 17, 2014

Lagoon at Chicago Botanic Garden, May 17, 2014 (photo-Rachel Jones)

Lagoon at Chicago Botanic Garden, May 17, 2014 (photo-Rachel Jones)

Lovely Afternoon to Be Kind!

So there we were, on our way up to the Chicago Botanic Garden. Absolutely gorgeous May afternoon. The sky was blue, and partly cloudy. With big cumulonimbus clouds stacked in huge piles around the sky. A great day to be outside, and especially going to such a wonderful place as the Botanic Garden!

My daughter wanted some lunch, so we stopped at a Subway sandwich shop on our way up Green Bay Road. As we got out of the car in the jam-packed strip mall parking lot, I noticed the car next to us, on the north side. Being a friendly sort of person, I smiled at the man standing next to the car. He nodded back at me, but didn’t smile. That’s okay. Sometimes people don’t feel like smiling.

We walked the short distance to the sandwich place, stood in line, got our order, and went upstairs to the cute seating area (first Subway I’ve ever seen that was two floors!). My daughter and I often have excellent conversations: today at lunch was no exception. After the leisurely lunch (did I mention the wonderful conversationalist I had to talk to?), she and I walked back to the car. There was the same car. And there was the man—still waiting. Or just standing there. He was on the shorter side, almost compact. Small mustache, light gray jacket, still hanging out next to his car.

I almost drove off without a second thought. Almost. Then, I did have second thoughts. And third ones, too. I put down the window on the passenger side of the car while my daughter almost died of mortification. “Hello!” I smiled again. “Can I help? Do you need something?” The man seemed honestly surprised. “Hmm—n-n-no,” was his response. I stayed put. He continued, “I wait for someone.” He nodded at another person talking on her cellphone, some two hundred feet away. “All right, if you’re sure,” was my exchange. He nodded. I smiled again. Then drove on further north, on Green Bay Road.

We had a lovely time at the Garden. My daughter took a number of photographs, and almost very flowering bush and tree was in bloom. (Gorgeous!!) But that man wouldn’t leave my mind. I have found that this is what happens when I am supposed to pray. I did pray for the man and for his companion, the woman I saw at a distance on the telephone.

I thought about the man and his companion, when we were on our way out of the Garden, as well as on the ride to the nearby bookstore. I am concerned about this gentleman, and for his companion. I hope their car is working properly. And knowing what I do, sometimes? About people on the North Shore suddenly getting a change in economic circumstances. I hope nothing like that happened to him.

I hope he and his companion had a lovely afternoon, too. I pray so, too! God, please hear my prayer.

@chaplaineliza

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