I am still in shock. A few weeks ago, we invited eight youth leaders over for a home-cooked meal despite a painful stress fracture in my leg. Grocery shopping had become unbearable, so using a new delivery service was a no-brainer.
An hour later, a young woman arrived with the loot. She had a long, thick braid of blonde, curly hair. I complimented her on it immediately. My hair would never do that. She smiled and thanked me.
While unpacking, we chatted about her job. It was new. She had just returned home from volunteering in South Africa and needed the money. My daughter had traveled there, so more polite conversation easily tumbled from our lips.
Soon enough, we even discovered that one of her close college friends was coming to dinner. This woman walked into my kitchen a complete stranger and left a new friend.
A moment after I thought she’d gone, I heard her gentle voice: “Hello? I should have asked you this before, but may I pray for your fractured leg?”
I surprisingly heard myself say, “Yes.”
This young woman knelt down and held my leg gently with her hands at the spot of the fracture. She spoke directly to my injury. The words offered healing, relief from pain, and grace for the recovery process.
I had no words. My eyes brimmed with tears. Warmth, gratitude, and humbleness shook me physically. There, in my kitchen, in front of the open refrigerator, I was blessed. Then, she smiled and left.
Since then, I’ve wondered how we can create more moments of connection like this.
These four principles may be the answer:
1. Believe that all people are innately good, and show it.
2. Smile around people who are being kind or of service.
3. Share compliments. If you’re thinking it, say it.
4. Ask genuine but simple questions.
Lastly, if inspired to share a prayer, ask first. If a prayer is offered for you, try saying yes.
Kate Fleming is a writer for Elephant Journal, where this article was originally published.