It was a sunny late summer morning and Cindy decided that she was going to spend some time enjoying a little rare morning sunshine (this summer sun has been rare!) at the outdoor mall at the Redmond Town Centre. She bought her Starbucks double shot, extra hot non-fat vanilla latte and set herself outside near the golden bear statue in the center of the mall. (Bears are pretty rarely seen around Redmond these days so statues remind us all what real bears look like.)
My wife has been on her own “glory in the ordinary” journey lately. In fact, she is my mentor in this way of living. She sat in her chair enjoying the morning sun and decided to make a couple of cell phone calls. As she did this she noticed two thirty-something men sitting near the bear statue with a kind of ADD hyperactive little boy, about 8 years old, restlessly sitting with them.
Her heart went back almost two decades when our oldest son, Adam, was that age, full of wonder, creativity and spunk.
“Can I have a quarter?” she heard the boy ask his father. He looked at him a little annoyed and replied, “Why do you need a quarter?” The boy answered quickly, “So I can buy some candy.”
Cindy said she was expecting the father to give the boy a buck to shut him up and leave him alone for a while in order to continue his conversation with his friend. But the father probably aware that his son needed more sugar like another hole in his head denied him. “No, I’m not going to give you a quarter.” The boy was not easily deterred. “Okay, I’m gonna ask somebody here in the mall for a quarter.”
The father, getting a little more irritated then said to his son mockingly, “You don’t want people to think you are some beggar do you?”
It was then that Cindy decided to make something glorious out of this ordinary father-son interaction. Without looking at the boy she took out a quarter from her purse and flung it his direction. The boy not knowing where it came from looked up and every direction, never suspecting the middle aged lady sitting nearby seemingly engrossed in her cell phone conversation.
Cindy was amused at how that little quarter caused this boy so much wonder and so much joy. So the game was on. When he wasn’t looking she flung another quarter his way. The boy was now even more perplexed. He looked in every direction and exclaimed, “Dad, this place is magic! It’s raining quarters here!” The boy continued to look in every direction to try to discover where these quarters were coming from.
Cindy was seeing that the game was becoming a little expensive so she began to fling dimes and nickels his way. This went on for quite some time. The boy forgot about being bored, about needing to buy candy. He was filled with wonder. Soon the father and his friend’s conversation finished and it was time for them to go.
“Dad, I don’t want to leave this place. It’s magic!” At that time, Cindy got up to go and asked the boy about what all the commotion was about. “This place is raining money!” The boy exclaimed. Cindy then calmly replied, smiling at him as she walked by, “You need to watch out for crazy ladies who like to throw money away here!”
Why do I share this story? Because my wife taught me that if we will approach our days with a little playfulness and are able to slow down and tune into what is going on around us we can bring some unexpected joy into the life of another. This brings some glory into our ordinary days.
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