I had an encounter a few days ago.
My husband and I were at the local coffee shop where we were having a quick breakfast before driving to the airport. A gentleman across from us noticed that we had said grace and made a sign of the cross before eating and he commented, touching his heart as he spoke.
My husband and I made polite conversation, but were anxious to eat quickly as we were leaving shortly for the two hour drive.
The man, in his 70's, had lost his son just days before to a drug overdose. As he proceeded to share his grief, some tears escaped and rolled down his face.
It just so happened that today, while my mother and I were at another coffee shop, this same man came up to me and thanked me for our chance encounter a few days before. Believe me, I did not do any acts of heroism other than to let the man speak. I just listened.
But, I guess that is what he needed.
Today, I learned just how important encounters are. However brief an encounter is, it can make all the difference to someone.
The grieving father mentioned today that he found yet another poem his son had written. It was about being in a crowd of people and, yet, feeling very alone. It seemed that he was searching for an encounter, an experience that would change his life and lead him away from the path of destruction he was on.
Encountering others seems to be a theme today as I listened to Pope Francis speak of his own encounter that, no doubt, began his journey to the seat of St. Peter.
I invite to watch this wonderful reflection of Pope Francis.
God bless you.