Wednesday, September 18, 2013

An Unlikely Friend

About a year ago, I received a Facebook message from a man I didn't know.  Here's how it read...

Saw the photo of Clay with the tractor. I don't know you however I know photography. Absolutely great shot.

I noticed that we had a mutual friend; I asked how he knew her.  He replied that he couldn't recall, and that it might be through racquetball, but that he didn't friend people on Facebook for no reason.  There had been some common denominator.

I stalked him the best I could and found that he was indeed a photographer...the real deal...and he also worked as a responder in recovery efforts following natural disasters.  "Interesting guy," I thought, so I friended him.  I wanted to see his photography and the type of recovery work he did, and didn't expect our conversation would go any further.  I do believe he expected the same, and a few days later, I got this message from him...

Take care. Keep up the good work. Shoot the things that are important to you. They'll never happen again.

Never underestimate the power of a simple, kind gesture. What seems like nothing to you may have a huge impact on someone else. 

All beautiful words, now that I look back on them.

Over the past year, we haven't kept up much on dialogue, except for the occasional reply to a Facebook picture or status.  It really is fascinating to me how communication in this day has shifted to "likes" and "comments"...
Anyhow, in July, one of our fave spots in Montana was damaged by a flash flood.  Shortly after, I saw my Facebook friend...his name is John...was headed to that area for restoration work.  I told him we'd be vacationing there the following month, and would LOVE to meet him in person. cool would that be?

The trip snuck up on me and I never took the time to contact John.  I planned to do it when we got into town.

The day after we arrived in Dillon, we walked into Murdoch's Ranch and Home Supply.  As I tripped over Cole and Carson into the front door, a man stopped me and asked my name.  Caught off guard and still wiping sweat from my forehead after our bike ride, I told him I was from out of the area.  He paused for a moment, still looking for an actual reply, so I said "Brook."  He smiled and said, "I'm John.  I knew it was you."  And there he Facebook friend in person, standing there in small town Montana!  I gave him a hug, and followed up quickly with an explanation to Keith, who was just now coming in the door and probably wondering...although never surprised...why I was hugging a stranger.  We only talked for a short time; he was in a hurry to return to the work site.  We tried to connect again in person, but it didn't happen.  Still, the momentary meeting in person was priceless to me.

Today I wished John a happy birthday on Facebook.  I thought about our unlikely friendship, and how God has a reason for every person he brings into our life.  I thought about the words John typed out to me last summer...

Never underestimate the power of a simple, kind gesture. What seems like nothing to you may have a huge impact on someone else. 

And that's simply how our unlikely friendship began.  What a great place this world would be if the simple, kind gestures in our minds became actual words each and every time.  Thank you, John. :)


  1. Hi Brook. I came across your article Keep it Simple in Children's Ministry Mag and wanted to ask if it was ok to share it on my Children's Ministry Blog. Thanks!

  2. Hi Laura! Yes, you're welcomed to! Thanks for asking! :)

  3. Thank you so much! Here is a link to the post if you like.

    1. Thank you, Laura! Your post was great! Enjoyed reading your blog, and learning about your heart for children's ministry!