Another piece of inspiration while I’m gone on vacation this week.
Christmas day I was sitting at my desk, trying to come up with a new idea for the blog. I also wanted to finish a story that will go into the next book. It was a cold day, cloudy outside and a bit sad in the house. It would be our first Christmas without our son, who’s away in China. Although my greatest source of happiness is the knowledge that all my kids don’t need me any more, one does tend to become sentimental at this time of the season.
The phone rings. I don’t recognize the number that I see in the caller ID feature, but something tells me to take the call anyway.
“Hello,” I say.
“Merry Christmas!” I don’t recognize the voice.
“Merry Christmas to you.” An awkward silence, as both parties to this conversation realize that they may not know the person they’re speaking to.
“Who am I speaking to?” I say.
“It’s Bruce.” I know several Bruces; I don’t think any of them would be calling me at Christmas.
“Tell you what, man. I must have dialed the wrong number. But that’s OK. Merry Christmas to you anyway. ”
“Thank you. I wish you the same.” We hang up.
No ill humor because I was interrupted. No hint of embarrassment in his voice. A positive interchange all the way around, and it started with a mistake.
A feeling of peace and calm comes over me. Our son will be OK. I have just been reminded of the mysterious joy we experience when a chance encounter turns out right. When I walk into the next room at the museum and I see a painting that talks to me, even though I’ve never seen it before. When the cello soloist at the symphony finds a new way to interpret a piece of music that I’d heard a hundred times before. When the angels at my office find a way to seamlessly remember to do something that I’d forgotten to accomplish. Something that had to be done.
A feeling that life is important. That every call, every turn, every contact with another human being carries within it the potential for beauty and unspeakable joy. Even a wrong number.
Thanks, Bruce, for making my day. You gave me the best present I’ve had all year. You didn’t have to say anything; you could have pressed on the “off” button.
Wish that everyone in this world could receive a daily phone call from a stranger to encourage them to have a good day. I wish.