As some of you may know, I just recently went to California to visit my friend, Rachel, over spring break. On the days we weren’t relaxing at her place, making cheese cake, or watching Netflix, we explored L.A.quite a bit! We visited Hollywood and Beverly Hills, the old L.A. Zoo, and kayaked in Long Beach.
All in all I’d say it was a great vacation!
But besides the usual souvenirs, like seashells and a cute hat from a vintage boutique, I came home with an experience that will never leave me.
As I traveled during this trip, something really hit home for me. I looked around and saw the people around me. I’ve always been a bit of a people watcher because I love to see life happening and memories being made around me; but this trip has really shown me how to actually see people not just watch them. I just love people and this trip pounded that into me even more. There are a few instances that stand out to me starting with the German woman in the seat next to me on the flight to L.A. and ending with business man kiddy-corner me on the flight home. All wedged in the middle of those two were people like our Uber (taxi) drivers, the sweet couple at the beach, the man on the street working to get children in third world countries some sponsors, the german man on our tour of Hollywood, the man jogging through Griffith Park, the waiter and the barista in Fullerton, and the sweet hispanic woman on my shuttle to the airport.
Some of these I barely talked to and with some I had conversations but they all touched me in the same way. Through all of these people, I’ve been shown that everyone has different life stories and not one is the same as another. Some are going through trials and some are experiencing immense joy.
The hispanic woman on the shuttle seemed at first like she was going on an exciting vacation but through talking with her I found out that she was going to visit her 80 yo father in the hospital. He had just had an accident the day before and had fallen from a two story building and was in critical condition. When she heard she wanted to rush to him right away but didn’t have the funds to fly there. She told no one at her workplace about the accident but just hours after she heard of her father’s accident and had realized that she had no possible way to get to him someone at work came to her and informed her that she had $1,000 in her work account that she didn’t know existed. She immediately took off work and bought a plane ticket to see her father.
She told me all of this and said she needed prayer. All because I asked one question and took the time to listen and be in the moment with her.
It’s become my prayer that God will continue to give me opportunities such as these, to praise with the joyful and pray with the struggling. Keeping my heart open to the people around me because these moments matter.