People who are ‘different’ are being targeted, ostracized, bullied.
“Different” religion.
“Different” sexual orientation.
“Different” physical or mental ability.
And with the bullying, ostracizing, targeting
a growing fear seems to be expanding almost daily.

Some say they “can’t make a difference.”
But there are many who *are* making a difference.

A little difference.
That’s all it takes.


His name was Joe.

“How has your day been?” he asked.
A simple question  (not the typical “How are you”
that usually elicits an inauthentic response)
Joe’s question had a ring of authenticity.
She answered – honestly.
“It’s been a really shitty and sad day.
My friend died today and I’m really sad.”
Tears welled up and spilled down her cheeks.

His name was Joe.
He was quiet while checking items through the till
then told her he was sorry for her loss and said 
“I lost my mom last month.”
They shared “one-of-those-moments” together
and spoke of the importance of
“enjoying every moment with those we love
and making the most of this thing called life.”

Picking up the bag of groceries
she noticed a bouquet of flowers tucked inside.
“Oh, these aren’t mine.”
“Yes. They are for YOU.”
“They’re for you.  I’m sorry about your friend. 
The flowers are for you.”

The woman in line behind her began to quietly cry.
A tear rolled down his face.
Tears rolled down her face.

At the human-level
they were strangers
At the soul-level
they were friends.

As she walked through tree-lined neighbourhoods
tears gently flowing down her cheeks
she was mindful of an encounter with the Holy Presence
of a fellow sojourner on Planet Earth.
His name was Joe.

When she got home and unwrapped the flowers
she realized they were orange Gerbera daisies
… her favourite flower and colour.

Joe may not have known the difference he made that day
but my friend did.
He made a difference in her life
and brought healing and hope.

When we listen to another
… truly listen with our ears, our eyes, our minds, our hearts
we *can* make a difference in the life of another.

The Joe’s and Jolene’s of this world exist.
They give us hope
… people can be kind.
They remind us
… we all share a common humanity.
They teach us
… everyone has the power-within to be someone’s ‘Joe’ or ‘Jolene.’


gerberaorange-dscn0001-1Photos and Text © June Maffin

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