Friday, 18 March 2016

40 Acts Challenge - Day 33: ' Hats Off '

You've got a brain the size of a planet. Your shirt matches your eyes! You're so good with numbers/animals/children/words/taxidermy! It's good to let folks know why they're great. Go and pay them a compliment today.

Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. 
One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: 
‘Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?’
  Jesus replied: 
‘“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” 
This is the first and greatest commandment. 
And the second is like it: 
Love your neighbour as yourself.” 
All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.’ 
Matthew 22:34–40 NIV

I had a whole conversation with a complete stranger last night. In London. On the tube. No, seriously!

Moments earlier I had been trying to avoid this stranger who was carelessly swinging her perfect ponytail in my face with every jolt of the carriage.

Thankfully, a mass exit at the next station gave me space to move further down the carriage. I sighed with relief until I turned ... and saw she was right behind me. I was trying to summon up some grace from my imaginary WWJD bracelet when I realised she was speaking to me: ‘I really like your hair.’

What ensued was a conversation about hair styles and products. We talked about skin care and treatments. We discussed music and she wished me luck in the singing recital I was on my way to.

The stranger's name is Nicole and, in all my years of complimenting and being complimented, I have never been so affected as when this teenager broke down the barriers, completely changing the atmosphere and bringing positivity to a stressful situation. In her acknowledgement of me, a complete stranger, Nicole affirmed me as someone worth talking to, worth sharing with.

We didn't talk about faith, but what Nicole did was an echo of what Jesus taught when asked what the greatest commandment was: ‘"Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul and all your mind,”’ he said, ’...  And the second is like it: “Love your neighbour as yourself."’

Who doesn't want to feel affirmed or acknowledged? These are acts of love and it's a wonder what can result. So thank you, Nicole. Thank you for not being afraid to talk to a stranger in an awkwardly packed carriage on the tube.

And by the way, I love your hair too.

Today's blog was written by Tola Fisher.
Find out more about them and support their chosen charity here.

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