There is a young man who works at a gas station in my neighborhood who has a very tough demeanor and frankly, he has the attitude and physical strength to back it up, too.
But . . .
I have come to know him over time. Life has taught him his demeanor and given the hours of his usual shift, his work at the gas station has required the use of that toughness. He is kind to me. He shares information he thinks I should know about the neighborhood and its people.
Not long ago, Gas Station Guy (GSG) looked very thin and sickly. I asked him if everything was alright. He told me that he had just gotten out of the hospital after a stay of several days. He told me what had happened and in the aftermath of his hospital stay, he was going to work 60-hour weeks to pay for his medical expenses.
I decided to take him some food.
In the course of one of our brief chats a while back, the name of a specific restaurant found its way into our conversation and he said he had never eaten there. Understandable. He has no car and doesn’t get out of the neighborhood much. He walks to and from work and has been doing that for years.
Goodnight and I recently drove to that restaurant and ordered something to go. It wasn’t a random selection. We made the choice based on what we knew about GSG. I took Goodnight because I want her to know that we can make big differences in small ways when we keep our hearts open. We got the to-go order and drove to the gas station because I knew GSG would be there.
I stayed in the car and let Goodnight give him his meal. She has always gotten out of the car to chat with him inside the station while I fill the tank, so they know each other, too. I didn’t need to hear their conversation. The grin on his face was enough for me. It was a tough guy grin. It was a grateful grin. It was a happy “Look at this food!” grin.
When Goodnight left the gas station and returned to the car, we had to pull past the window to leave. GSG was standing there giving me a thumbs up . . . but not for long. As I pulled away, I saw him open the to-go box and start eating.
In a few days, cybersphere will blossom with peace posts (and tweets) from around the world for the Blog Blast for Peace. I can’t wait to read what others have to say about peace. It certainly takes different forms in thoughts, words, or deeds. I am always surprised and always inspired. If you are able to blog, tweet, or use facebook to write something about peace, please do. The directions are at the link.
But don’t forget, it is one thing to write about peace. It is another thing to do it. Do it . . . please.