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Just Wanted a Little Conversation

The human race is needy.  We are not silent about our needs.  It is not difficult to hear the voices of good people tell of various ailments, aches, frustrations, irritations, and pains. Because we love to tell someone of our hurts, a prospective listener is selected by just “being present, being available, and being still”.

The group that is perhaps quite annoying is the genre of folks that delight in constantly telling others the famous people that they have seen, “met”, and will be seeing soon when they come to town.  Their exhilaration is the boastfulness of letting others know of their importance because of the famous personage that they have paid money to get to greet in an “small group setting” upon arrival.  Over time, those types of personalities can push “common folks” away.  For those that simply live to love and care for everyone that they meet, there is no “credentials” test.  Whoever is in their sphere of interaction that is the person they seek to love, encourage, and comfort.  Sometimes, it may be someone very famous that they contact via letter.  Most often, it is the person in line at the store, the clerk, teacher, waiter, or banker.  Love is their driving force and encouragement is their gift.

Conrad Hyers in his book, And God Created Laughter tells a of an 8 year old girl who wrote to Abraham Lincoln, who was then running for President suggesting that he grow a beard. In her opinion, Lincoln would stand a better chance of election if he grew one to hide the homeliness of his face. Lincoln could have been offended, but instead he answered her letter personally and thanked her for her suggestion, furthering adding that he’d like to visit with her when his campaign came to her area.

On the day that Lincoln’s campaign train was scheduled to pass through the town, practically the whole town was assembled at the station. There were the leading Republicans wearing their top hats, the shiny marching, band, and the townsfolk in their finest attire. Almost everyone was there…all except the little girl. She was left at home. After all, her father reasoned, Lincoln would be interested only in the politicians and their speeches – the votes and the voters – not the attentions of a little girl.

It so happened, however, that as the campaign train approached the town, it was forced to stop for repairs. Lincoln, not wanting to sit in the warm train, set off across the field afoot in search of the little girl’s home.

When Lincoln introduced himself at the door, the maid was speechless. But the little girl and her playmate, the maid’s daughter, welcomed him in as if they were expecting him. The two girls had been having a pretend party, drinking pretend hot chocolate out of their small teacups and they invited Mr. Lincoln to join them. After a while, Lincoln said he must be going, thanked them for the party, and asked them how they liked his new beard. Then he walked to the waiting train.

When Lincoln boarded the train, it started on its way and went right through the town without stopping. Right past all the waiting dignitaries, politicians, loud playing band and flag draped platform; right past ladies and gentlemen in their Sunday best… for Lincoln hadn’t come to visit people who were putting on a show for his benefit. He had come to visit and say thank you to a little girl who just wanted to spend time with him.  (Copied).