Hot Dogs and Peace in Front of the Courthouse

Yesterday was a day filled with one court appearance after another – three substantive trials that I was involved with; two civil matters and a traffic case.  It was a busy, fast paced day where the best that I could do for lunch was a hot dog from the vendor on the sidewalk in front of the courthouse.  In the middle of running from one courthouse to another, about 30 minutes apart, and thinking continually about either what just happened or what was about to happen, I stopped to get lunch and was encouraged by honest reflection and hopeful perspective of a lady who makes a living selling hot dogs a couple of hours a day.

She had a look of weariness from trying to make life work when answering my inquiry about how her business was these days, explaining that it has been really hard lately.  She said that she is just trying to get by and offered no hint that there was a marketing plan or sales strategy she found to be realistic when considering how to turn the financial corner.  Then, not too long after she was honest with me about her lack of fortune, she asked me if I was a lawyer (it’s the tie that gives it away) and how my business is.  Here’s the thing about her question . . . she seemed to really care about my business and wanted to hear my answer.  She shifted with ease from the reality of her plight into empathy for mine. Through the exchange, we each offered a few encouragements and she finished with “God Bless.”

I walked up to that hot dog stand a little anxious and very pre-occupied with things that I was thinking about that mattered not only to me but to others.  Here’s the thing, though; the things that I was thinking about were either in the past or the future by thirty minutes or more each way.  What was in the immediately was the hot dog lady.  I can say honestly that I wanted to talk to her and initiated the conversation; I was interested in her story and I hope that was a little encouragement in her day.  What I can tell you just as certainly is that the honest interaction and insight into the world of someone else who cared enough to ask and encourage me sent me walking away with no anxiety at all but a hint that there had been an encounter with Peace which left a residue of peace – a message through an open window that Life is in the right now; person to person and raw.

Are you Living right . . . now?

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