“How has your day been?” he asked.
His name was Joe.

A simple question – not the typical “How are you”
that usually elicits an unauthentic 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 lady in line behind her
… cried.
… cried. 
… cried.
At the human-level
… they were strangers
At the soul-level
… they were friends.

She walked through tree-lined neighbourhoods
tears gently flowing down her cheeks
mindful of an encounter with the Holy Presence
whose name was Joe.

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

In spite of personal difficulties and global angst
there *are* Joe’s and Jolene’s in our world
… and they are making a difference.

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.
His name was Joe.


Photos and Text © June Maffin
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