It's Right There in Front of You

A crescent moon light the path for a lone man

I hope you all had a nice weekend. I did, and it's one I'll remember for a while. The weather was wonderful, so a few of us decided to go do some horseback riding. It was nice seeing some folks I hadn't spent time with in months and, in some cases, much longer.

We did a pot-luck picnic afterward. Everyone brought something, and let me tell you, I had my share. Whew! Stuffed to the gills. I brought scalloped potatoes and ham, and people seemed to like it, but I was more interested in all the other foods and desserts.

It was wonderful catching up with everyone and hearing about their lives, trials, and wins. Of course, we had quite a few laughs as well. The time seems to go by far too fast. We were all getting ready to leave, making sure we picked up everything and saying our goodbyes, everyone making promises to do this more often, and hoping we do. 

I turned to head back to my vehicle when someone ran up behind me and called my name. I turned around, and it was Jim (not his real name). Jim and his family used to live closer to me, but they have moved to a neighboring town. I'd say Jim is about 17 now. I had an immediate flashback to a couple years ago. Jim started going jogging and hiking with me. He was a little chubby back then, and he was hoping I could give him some tips and such so he could lose weight. He wanted to join the track team at school, but some of the kids would tease him and tell him to forget the track team because of his size. 

Each day when I would get to the place where I go running, there would be Jim. Even on sweltering days, Jim wore heavy sweats because he was so self-conscious. We had many discussions about exercise, food, and the like. We also had conversations about why people are mean sometimes and how they themselves are insecure. Jim made outstanding progress, and then his family had to move. He promised he would keep up the routine at his new home. Unfortunately, I lost touch with Jim and his family until today.

Jim reached out to shake my hand, and he said, "I never thanked you, and I wanted to do that now."

I thought he was joking, so I made a wisecrack and chuckled.

He laughed but then said, "No, I'm serious. If you hadn't let me jog with you, and the talks... I don't think I would have made the track team." He wrinkled his nose and shook his head, "Naw. I know I wouldn't have."

I didn't know what to say. I never knew at the time that this was so important to him. The only thing I could say was that I hadn't done anything and how proud he should be of himself. We chatted a few more minutes, and then he turned to leave. I was feeling so good about what he had accomplished and how he completely transformed himself. He took a few steps but then turned around again.

You know what this kid said to me? He said, "Peter, you should be a Dad. You'd be a really good one." And then he ran off to his family's vehicle. I just stood there and watched while everyone drove away. I was glad he ran off so quickly cause I got a little choked up. I finally got in my vehicle and drove home, thinking about it all the way.

I wanted to tell you this at the start of a new week because you just can't know how a kind word or the smallest gesture can affect someone far deeper than you can imagine. Words, simple words, can heal, and it takes so little of your time. Maybe this week, you can help someone feel good about themselves. Believe me, if you do that, it will make your heart sing too. Have a wonderful week!

© 2014 Peter Noah Thomas ~ All Rights Reserved

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