I met a buddhist monk on the streets of Auckland.
He followed me around the town, talking to me about his spiritual path. He spoke about his life, celibacy, and devotion to God. When he left he handed me a book on Buddhism. I still have it to this day.
I met a hippie on an airplane to California. She was a wandering soul; a traveler. We were randomly assigned our seats.
She smelled of potpourri and sweat.
I told her about my writings. She told me about her adventures. We admired each other’s strengths.
Before she left she told me I was going to finish my book and be a famous author.
I met a homeless man at the gas station. He was hiding from the cold. I stood behind him as he checked out of the line. He couldn’t afford the water and bag of chips he was buying.
I bought it for him. Then I asked him to buy whatever he wanted in the store.
He called me a blessing.
I met a couple on a flight to Florida.
Their last name was Love. They were celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary.
They glowed with love.
They proved that long lasting love exists; if you work at it. And that true love never dies.
I met a woman fleeing an abusive relationship. She came screaming out of an apartment and to my mom’s car. I was 12 years old and sitting in the car with my mother.
The woman pounded on the door. Frantic. Asking for help. Her skin was peeling. She got in the car and told us her husband had just poured boiling water on her. She was shivering and crying. We took her to the emergency room.
I will never forget her face and her fear.
I met a man from Sudan who had stared death in the face. As one of the original Lost Boys of the Sudan at 7 years old he ran away from home after a terrorizing raid of his home left many dead around him.
He joined thousands of others (mostly young boys) who made the dangerous trek from Sudan to Ethiopia and then Ethiopia down to Kenya. He crossed crocodile infested rivers, watched others die of disease or hunger, and many times came face to face with certain death. All the while he was left wondering about his parents and brother. Were they dead?
The journey this young man went through most won’t experience in their lifetime.
But he never gave up his faith. And that was what kept him warm some nights.
I met a woman in the waiting room of the outpatient surgery ward. We were both prepped for surgery. She was shaking.
I remembered how I felt on the day of my first surgery. I knew how she felt.
The doctors and nurses walked in and out of the waiting room. Checking on us, but never once giving the comforting words we needed to hear.
I read my magazine. Watched the TV. Tried to distract myself from the nervousness creeping in my stomach. The IV hurt, my feet were cold, my mouth was dry. And all the while this woman next to me in shaking. Her face is white and it looks like she has arena ghost.
I finally turn to her and say “you’re going to be alright. I’m going to be alright.”
She stopped shaking and smiled.
The doctor came in to wheel her into surgery. She stopped them to grab my hand.
“Thank you,” she said.
No one you meet in this life is ever by chance.
Everyone is put there to guide you, love you, teach you, make you stronger.
Oh the people you will meet.