If we’re paying attention at all, the Truth about life reveals itself to us in the most simple and profound ways. It revealed itself to me in a small, neighborhood restaurant in East Boston.
About a year ago, I walked into Angela’s restaurant which is near our daughter’s home in East Boston. Angela’s is a tiny corner restaurant in the oldest part of Boston. The small tables are close, and the feeling is even closer. Seated next to my right was an elderly man whom the staff seemed to know quite well. He was obviously a “regular.”
“Good morning Peter! How are you today?” his waitress said.
”Beautiful day today isn’t it?” Peter said with a smile that could light up Boston. I thought “Hmmm. Something about this guy…”
I found myself drawn to him, and after some time had passed, Peter looked over to me as I smiled at him and he said, “Isn’t it a beautiful day today?” The look in his eyes touched me deeply. Such indescribable kindness, sweetness and gentleness in his face. He had an aura of such positivity about him.
We chatted for awhile and Peter was just drawing me in even more. My soul was loving being around this guy. I knew I had to be around him more often. Peter had told me that he was a poet and he was going home to write some poetry. I then asked him, “I’d love to see some of your poetry. Could we have breakfast together again and would you share a poem with me?”
Two days later we are back at Angela’s. He brought a poem about his wife, who had died from cancer about two years ago. It turns out that much of his poetry is about his wife. He writes of what a great love and life they had together. He told me (in great detail) about how he first met her at a dance. He told me (in great detail) about their first date. His eyes both lit up and grew moist as he spoke of her and their fifty years of marriage.
I said, “You know Peter. In all of my years as a Pastor, I often found that over time, grief gradually turns more and more into gratitude, if you let it.”
Peter said, “I like that! Grief to Gratitude!”
”Peter, how about if you write a poem with that title and we’ll meet back here in a few days?”
Three days later we are sitting at Angela’s and I’m reading, “From Grief To Gratitude.” It was so sweet!
When I’m back in Minnesota we exchange mail. Peter sends me his poems. When I’m in Boston, I just HAVE to get together with him! My soul soaks up his kindness and gentleness. I leave happy. I see my reflection in an eighty two year old man in East Boston, and I remember. I remember who and what I am.
We’ve now had several breakfasts together. Every time I come back from the breakfast and talk about Peter to my family, I say, “You’ve got to meet this guy.”
At our last breakfast, our daughter Sonja came with me. She now adores Peter and the two of them have started a lovely relationship. Peter has come to her home and now she has gone to his home~several times. Peter gives Sonja the same joy he gives to me.
I am a big believer in our outer world being shaped by our inner world. The energy that is going on within us is what we project out into the world. The world around us is formed by that energy.
And I’m talking about our energy before we say or do anything. I’m talking about the energy that doesn’t need to say or do anything. It just flows out there.
Peter is a beautiful soul who is grieving his beautiful wife. He misses her. He confides in me about the loneliness he faces daily. But you see what’s happening here? Peter is receiving back what he has put out into our world and now he has two new friends who are a part of his own healing. Now we give him the joy and kindness he first gave to us.
We are just part of the life that Peter has built. There are so many other people at his church and in his community that want to be around him.
What kind of a world do you want to live in? What kind of relationships do you want to have? How do you want people to respond to you? What kind of energy within you would it take to manifest that world? Whatever you decide that energy needs to be…it is already within you!
We truly do “reap what we sow.” I’m turning 70 soon and when I grow up, I want to be just like Peter.
By the way, if you ever stop into Angela’s, I’d suggest the Central American Breakfast!
You are Love,
Pastor Tim Tengblad
email@example.com I welcome your story of someone like Peter in your own life.