For a long time we didn’t even know her name. We just knew that every Friday morning we’d get to hear that familiar voice, “Good morning! Welcome to Dunkin Donuts. May I take your order?” Stopping by was part of our weekly routine on the drive down to watch our grandbaby. And, over time, we got to be regulars. “Hi guys! How ya doin’?” she’d say handing us our coffee and sandwiches. And, we’d pull away smiling. It always made me chuckle how good I felt just driving through getting those sandwiches.
Then, one Friday, a strange voice. “Well”, we thought, “she’ll probably be at the window.” But, she wasn’t. “Gee, hope she’s not sick. Maybe she’s off today. We’ll see her next week.” But, we didn’t. And, not the next week either. Finally, we had to admit the inevitable – our sweet dose of Friday morning delight was gone forever from our lives. Would seem like such a small thing. It was and it wasn’t.
We all have people in our daily lives we see often, yet casually. But most of these encounters simply pass by unnoticed. They don’t linger. So, what is it about the ones that do? Funny, we knew absolutely nothing about our Friday morning server and each encounter was simply a replay of the same ole few seconds of rote dialogue. Yet, here she is still with me today.
As I sit with it, this lingering delight I feel seems to have something to do with kindness. Such a simple thing. But, she made us feel, with just that quick glancing smile, right there in the moment, that there was all the time in the world for us. Made us feel like something a little special was going on right there at the drive through. Imagine that!
Could it be that kindness is what is left when all else falls away? And, in those moments, could it be that simply our presence is all that is needed? Kindness, after all, requires no background check or personal knowledge. No special conditions or ritual. No particular reason. No long conversation or intimate understanding.
No, it seems kindness is the language of the Beloved so, graciously, is complete unto itself leaving only delight in its wake. We may not be able to predict when it will find us but, instantly, we know it has as we are not left where we were found. Even right in the middle of the most mundane circumstances we can find ourselves suddenly smitten and smiling.
Smitten and smiling indeed! Now, just imagine a world so smitten! I can see the new national campaign now – our server’s smiling face front and center and the slogan: America Runs On Delight! And, in fine print just below, the disclaimer: Warning – Contains Unrefined Kindness ~ May Cause Uncontrollable Smiling.
Think I’ll follow our server’s lead and go out and spread a little of that delight.
“Hi there, how ya do’in?”