The Visitor

Have you ever received an unexpected letter or phone call from an old friend?  Or maybe gone to a high school or college reunion and renewed a connection that’s been severed for years?  How did that make you feel?  It makes me feel really good.

We can be the blessing at someone’s door, the invitation to take a walk, or to share a cup of coffee.  The simplest things in life often bring the most lasting pleasure, the most enduring sense of belonging, and the shortest road to happiness.  And perhaps are the most easily overlooked.

How hard is it to stay connected with that person whose company we have enjoyed when our propinquity is lost?  Have you ever started a new job only to lose touch with your former colleagues?  Or move to a new home only to lose touch with your old neighbors?  Or even accidentally meet someone you share some passion with and think, “Gee, I wish I would have found a way to stay in touch with him.”

The truth is, it takes courage and a willingness to be vulnerable to reach out to others in this way.  So if you make a practice of renewing old acquaintance, or asking for the phone number of someone whose conversation you have enjoyed, or visiting an acquaintance who is sick in the hospital, then not only will you be blessing both them and yourself by renewing those ties, you will also be strengthening your own character in the process.

You will grow your social network and theirs.  You will improve your emotional health and theirs.  You will be building social capital in your community and theirs.

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