And that's what happened a few weeks ago while waiting in line at Goodwill. Oh, and you can bet that if you get in line behind me, it's going to be a slow line, with price-checks, tape changes, etc. But I'm learning to take notice of those opportunities, those chance encounters, to connect with a stranger that maybe has a story or two to tell.
So this dear, sweet elderly lady behind me asked about the license plate I was about to buy for 99 cents. Oh and if you know me, you know I love to tell a good story too. So I told her that I moved from Wisconsin to Phoenix in 1977 and love anything vintage, with dates & historical significance to hang in my home or backyard. She asked if I liked old cars and I said yes! ~ when my husband & I married in 1979 he was driving a '69 Dodge Charger and I was driving a '62 Chevy Impala. Dang right I love old cars!
|1949 TR2000 Triumph Roadstar ~ similar to the one in the story|
Well, she proceeds to tell me an amazing story! It seems that a couple years ago her husband told her she needed to sell her 1949 TR2000 Triumph Roadster that she bought from a friend 30 years ago, that her friend found in an old barn in the state of Washington. Her husband hated that car and wanted it out of the garage. He told her ~ "lets clean it up and get a couple thousand for it". But they needed to get it registered. Well, you can imagine the spectacle they made when they arrived at the motor vehicle place. The guy in charge even called Britain to verify the rarity of such a car. It seems there were only 11 that were "hand built" in 1949 and this was one of them! In fact the Triumph was the first post WWII car from Britain's Triumph Motor Company, but it fizzled out by the time the 1949 model came out.
All to say, they told her it's worth a whole lot more than a couple thousand! And when I asked if her husband still hated the car, she laughed and said "not anymore!" ha!
This dear, sweet lady had a story to tell and not only did I enjoy it, but so did everyone else in line ~ even the cashier. A simple reminder that we all long to be known, to be noticed, to be heard, to feel validated in this journey of life. Maybe today you will see an opportunity to hear a story, to show compassion, to connect with someone in need of connecting. And maybe we'll never know the impact we make. But maybe we can be an extension of God's love to a world that doesn't even know what they don't know yet ~ that they matter to Someone bigger than anything they're facing at the moment. That they are not alone.
Thanks to my friend Marshall for blogging about his wife Cathy's 'chance' meeting at a car wash a few days before my Goodwill encounter. You can read Cathy's story here ~ so inspiring!
And if you had a 'chance' meeting with a stranger recently, do tell. I love a good story.