On Nudges

Last week, I wrote about my travels to D.C. and all that trip meant to me.

What I haven’t written about are all the nudges I experienced while there.

It started with the two Minnesota businessmen seated across from me at the conference dinner, the ones whose accents sounded so familiar.  The fellows who told their stories in the modest way Midwesterners do; what stays with me is how easily we laughed, as though we were old friends reunited after years apart.

There was the English couple making their way to St. Louis; his brown eyes locking on mine when he said, “It’s my Mother, you see, and she wants me to come.” I found myself nodding in agreement.   We talked of the bond between Mothers and children, regardless that she was 84 and he 61. I’d forgotten it was Mother’s Day that coming Sunday.  His wife, serene and beautiful, like Jane Goodall, smiled in support of the journey.

There was the businesswoman softly sobbing in the seat next to mine, our flight delayed again and again because of weather. But it wasn’t the storms that made her cry, it was her husband’s terse texts about being late to their 9 year old’s birthday.

There was the Arizona executive I met at an evening mixer, the woman who smiled as she told me of her Dad’s health challenges and how no other siblings were involved because he was such a cranky-puss these days.   She smiled her way through the fatigue.

There was the skinny smiley cab driver from Afghanistan who showed me photos of his baby daughter and the cleaning lady with the shy smile who never failed to say “Good morning!”

Maybe I was just a country girl in the city overwhelmed with the sights, the smells, the significance.

But I don’t think that’s it.

I felt it. With each of them.

A nudge.

A little push that said, “hear them. see them. listen.”

And so I did.

And in the listening,  that’s where I find the lessons live.

“An invisible thread connects those who are destined to meet, regardless of time, place or circumstance.  The thread may stretch or tangle. But it will never break.” –  Proverbs

Have you ever experienced nudges like this? What did you?




Categories: Beauty, Faith, Friendship, Growth, Life, Life Lessons, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | 15 Comments

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15 thoughts on “On Nudges

  1. You must have the biggest heart of anyone I “know”, MJ! I’m sure you have a way of connecting with almost everyone you meet.

    • You know, I really don’t. I can be short-tempered and a bad listener, wanting to talk more than listen. But on this trip, there were so many opportunities to really SEE people … it was overwhelming. I can’t describe it, it’s like all my senses were on full alert and anyone who had a story to tell told it to me. I was amazed at the level of personal detail total strangers told — maybe there’s safety in that?

      In a world where we’re electronically more connected, I think people are feeling less connected – for real.


  2. Your trips are more fun than mine. Maybe it’s because I have to let go of my crankiness about having to travel and enjoy what’s going on now.

  3. Very nice. I was especially touched by the woman crying over her husband’s angry texts–a reminder to us all that we never know the battles others are fighting or how fortunate we are that our own battles are small in comparison.

    • That one just about broke my heart; we had a long chat and mostly, I just listened.

      I don’t care to text — too much can be read into or out of a text!

  4. It’s wonderful and interesting to connect with folks on our travels. You certainly have the knack of doing so, listening, observing and absorbing.
    I sat next to a very nice young couple flying out here. He loaded my 22x18x10 suitcase and brought it down at the end of the flight. They chatted up about what we were flying over…I enjoyed their “company” very much. How stressful for that mom to receive such texts…to be caught between a rock and a hard place.

    • Oh I am so glad you had that nice young couple next to you and I love that he loaded up your suitcase and took care of it — there are still many with manners :).

      I could feel her stress … we had a long chat and mostly I just listened. Sounded to me like there was more than just the birthday going on 😦


  5. beautiful post. You have a sensitive heart! makes me want to be a better person just reading this…plus I felt just a little convicted reading about the terse texts of the brutish husband to his wife..enough to make her cry… makes me want to be a better husband just thinking about that exchange. thanks friend~! 🙂

    • For whatever reason my spidey senses were on full alert that week! The crying wife and I had a good long chat; I couldn’t help but think what if that were the last message she ever saw from him? (we were on a tarmac about to take off for Pete’s sake). My advice to her was to shut the phone off and know she was doing all she could do to get there. Once home, things would resolve themselves.

      I did kind of want to clock the guy but, of course, I don’t know the whole story!

  6. In large cities, some people are so impersonal. I’m sure your light was glowing and warmed their hearts.

    • Maybe that’s it, I don’t know. I do think there’s a smidge more tendency to say hello and chat to others here in the Midwest. I’m glad it went the way it did; it reminded me, once again, of the incredible power of human connections.
      Thanks Patti!

  7. Great post MJ. There’s so much going on around us if we just listen and watch. Thank you for sharing

  8. Pingback: GPS for the soul | Emjayandthem's Blog

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