Every week, as I pull out of the parking garage at one of the client companies I serve as a corporate chaplain, she is there in the little booth at the exit taking tickets, dispensing change, smiling and engaging in small talk.
All I really know about her is that she’s from Ethiopia- and she has a prominent, gold tooth that shines whenever she unleashes one of those great, big smiles.
She’s there in that little parking booth, come rain or shine, doing the same thing just about every day: taking tickets, dispensing change, and remarking on her life, which every time I meet her is a blessed one.
“I’m so blessed!,” she likes to exclaim. “We are all so blessed! There are so many blessings in our lives when we really think about them,” she says.
She says it every time.
Funny thing is that it never gets old, her blessedness and blessing. Maybe that’s because I know it’s legit. I don’t have to question whether she’s putting on a show. She’s not. It’s writ large across her face that she means what she says.
On the surface, it would seem this woman has little influence. She’s not powerful. She doesn’t have a lot of money. She may not even have American citizenship.
But, if I were to do a little math, I would estimate she probably easily talks to at least a couple hundred people a day from her perch in that booth, telling them she’s blessed and they are, too.
A couple hundred people a day means more than a thousand exchanges a week of telling people she’s blessed and they’re blessed, too.
That’s a lot of people who, like me, leave that parking garage feeling a bit closer to God, thanks to a woman whose gratitude is real.