The Encounter

The Encounter

 Every day we encounter people, places, and life experiences. Some we remember while others we forget. Why is that? I have a theory. Let’s say you have a flattened piece of clay and you press your hand into it leaving an impression. Your handprint is left behind as a reminder that you were there. Some encounters are that way with us. They leave behind a handprint, an impression, embedded in our hearts and minds. It goes with us, becomes a part of us, and we remember it. Many encounters remind us of grief and pain but others bring thoughts of joy and blessings. Today we will look at the positive aspect of encounters.

 The Brief Encounter. This encounter is only for a short time but can be  impactful in some way. That person you met, no matter how briefly, left a positive impression on you. It might have been a special word of encouragement, a hug, or great customer service. Maybe you heard a speech, a sermon, or a prayer. Whatever this brief encounter was it left a handprint on your heart or mind.

 One of my many brief encounters happened about 10 years ago in Michael’s, the day after Thanksgiving. A sales lady walked by me and said.” Why do you look so sad? You should be smiling with that beautiful face.” She walked on by and I never saw her again. I perked up and smiled the rest of the day. Truth be told, I was feeling down that day and her words did lift my spirits.

 It’s nice to think about those people isn’t it? Guess what? You and I are brief encounters for others every day. Are we leaving behind pain and grief or joy and blessings?

 The Unexpected Encounter. This encounter is often perceived as a time of stress and change. Most of us don’t roll with change, so when it comes we get thrown off balance. But have you had an unexpected encounter that brought about good change? If we could view change as a chance to grow maybe it wouldn’t bring such anxiety.

 I remember a change that was about to come into my life that brought thoughts of joy and anxiety simultaneously. I was nineteen, pregnant and my husband was in Germany with the Army. One cold February night I sat watching the gripping movie Attack of the Killer Tomatoes with my brother. Suddenly the unexpected encounter began with a severe muscle spasm tearing across my lower back and then my water broke.

 After 23 hours of grueling labor pains, the nurse finally laid my 8lbs. 8ozs. daughter in my arms. When I encountered my tiny treasure for the first time something unexpected happened to me. A deep love flooded my heart as I had never felt before. That love left a handprint on my heart that will forever remain.

 Life is full of unexpected encounters. We will experience change every day. Either you can let it bring stress and anxiety or you can look for the tiny treasures. Why not bring about some small changes for yourself? Go to a different coffee shop, make a new friend, call an old one, or change your routine just a little. Be the instigator of an unexpected encounter in your own life or that of another.

 Shake the tree a little and watch the leaves fall… it is a beautiful thing. We do not know what life will bring, but we can bring life to those we know.©

Written by Julie Moore

Also posted in my column on


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