You know that look in someone's eyes when you make a connection with them? It's like a little light comes on...their eyebrows go up and most often a smile appears to confirm that you've just hit some nail on its head. This happens in many ways, but here's one from today.
Walking back to pick Caleb up today I found myself alongside a mum of another boy in Caleb's nursery class. I had seen her enough times but not talked to her. I knew she must speak another language from the pigeon conversations I'd observed between her and the teachers, but hadn't pinned it down until I said "hello" today as we were walking. She said hello, and then immediately apologised for her English and said she is from Mexico.
Now, you might be thinking that Aberdeen is a long way from Mexico. It is, but I, on the other hand, was thinking "oh dear." Because the fact of the matter is that somewhere, a long time ago, I also spoke Spanish. And now, with this woman in front of me telling me her English is not good because she speaks Spanish, well, what could I do? So I said, "..." (I won't bore you with the pitiful attempt at Spanish that came out of my mouth!)
It was absolute rubbish, my first attempt to actually speak Spanish in more than 7 years (I still remember my last attempt very clearly, and that story I'll tell to anyone who asks but bring a box of tissues for it). But here's the thing: the Light came on in her eyes. It had nothing to do with me as such, but the fact that her language was being spoken. Someone might understand her. And finally she could make a connection with one of "us". I know that relief well, having lived in different countries and living daily with Adam. It's a joy and a delight to make a connection with someone, to find that another person understands you in a way you didn't expect. It is a momentary feeling like your burden could be shared, even if only conceptually. It's a bench to sit on for a moment on a long, arduous walk. It is hope.
I do like those moments, and I am grateful for the Hand that moved me to speak to her. It was only fear that had held me back, and that fear can easily be dealt with by dusting off my "Basic Spanish" textbook. Now that I think about it, as we talked today, I, too, had a light come on. It's the one that says "hey, maybe you just made a friend."