Focus is never done in isolation.
It comes part and parcel with slowing down and taking time.
It is not a vague exercise or an offhand way of being. It is a complete quieting of your being so that, in the silence, life might speak.
Today my whirlwind of gift shopping with my four chimpanzees was interrupted with a quiet question:
"Could you use a compliment today?"
I turned to see an employee watching me carefully and she offered me this, "You could pass for their older sister."
Her kindness quieted my spirit and her eyes welcomed me in to an instant intimacy. I thanked her and somehow, by singular divine appointment, she began to pour forth her life story of a past when her home was filled with it's own rambunctious inhabitants.
A journey from the east, a marriage, a family. The death of her son in a tragic car accident at 17. Another child's subsequent nervous breakdowns. Marital separation. A desire to let go and live on.
Through all her suffering and lost, she continued to believe that God has a time and place for us each to live and die. Her Islamic roots had taught her that much. I agreed and explained that my beliefs were the same though mine were gleaned from a different book and from an embrace of the teachings of Jesus Christ.
With tears in her eyes, she nodded with agreement and said, "I have always said that if anyone were ever to ask of me what time of history I could live in, it would be in the days of Jesus. What he went through... I would throw myself at his feet and give myself in place of him for the death that he died."
We talked faith and family for what seemed like hours. (My daughter estimated 2 hours had gone by though in reality it must have been no more than 20 minutes.) Because a kind soul had focused in on me and mine today, I was able to focus in on the heart of a beautiful woman.
After repeated attempts by both of us to quit the conversation and continue with the tasks at hand, we finally did. But I don't think either of us were quite finished.
Someday, hopefully quite soon, we plan on meeting again to continue our conversation. I hope our time together continues to yield the fruit of a blossoming friendship.
Planted today by a woman who took the time to notice me.
Joining in again (finally!) at 5 Minutes Friday.