Are there people in your life that “touch you” in some small or big way?
I imagine there are many. If you are like me, they appear every single day in some way, somewhere. Do they know that they have impacted your life in a positive way? Have you shared that with them or have you allowed the opportunity in the moment to pass you by?
This past couple of months here in Louisiana, there have been a gozillion opportunities to let those around me know the difference they’ve made in my life. From the policemen and emergency response teams that serve us and keep us safe every single hour of every single day to the military who came in to provide community support, protection and supplies to the shelters around the state during the flooding. There was Captain Willie who used his personal boat to rescue folks from the flood waters, the Cajun Navy who rescued families, pets, belongings and brought them to high and dry land, and my beloved son-in-law Alan LeCoq and his friend, a Louisiana State Police Officer, cruised the flood waters searching for those in need of rescuing. They had the privilege of bringing to safety and dry land one little puppy, Chamomile, nicknamed “Cammie”. Alan and his family kept Cammie safe and sound at their home providing lots of love and TLC until the flyers posted around the town led the family back to their precious Cammie. Opportunities in the moment did not pass these men and women by. They stood up and stepped forward to fill a chair in the lives of those around them as did thousands of others in the last several months.
Another example of someone who filled the chair in my family’s life are Sgt. Diaz and Deputy Herein with the West Feliciana Parish Sheriff’s Office. They answered my call 9-1-1 the night our daughter, Sarah, could not be found. Her dog, Nola, rushed past me in the front door and took off into the woods. She called for Nola with no answer. She then drove up and down the road calling and looking for her to no avail. Darkness came. After ‘too long’ had past, I too drove out calling, yelling, screaming for Sarah, for Nola, sadly with no response. The fearful feeling in the pit of my stomach got stronger and louder and I decided it was time to get more help. I called 9-1-1 and the Dispatcher was calm and thorough throughout her questioning. She stayed on the phone with me the entire time. Soon the Sgt and Deputy were on the roads around our home searching for Sarah and Nola. After a while (what seemed like an eternity), a lady from down the road that we’ve never met, Karen, drove into our driveway with Sarah and Nola in the bed of her truck! There we all were in our driveway, questioning, answering, hugging, thanking, and hugging some more! In one of my darkest hours, all of these people answered my call for help. They say they were doing their job…and I thank God everyday that they do their job with such dignity, respect, calmness, and honor for those they serve. Our night turned out to be filled with many blessings. Even now, as I write about this, my heart gives pause and deep gratitude for every opportunity in those moments that were not passed by. Several days later, Sarah and I went back to each of them in the daylight bearing gifts of gratitude and to thank them once again for standing up and stepping forward to answer the call of help. They filled the empty chairs in my life that night.
Life brings us opportunities to be a giver and / or a receiver. The next time there is an opportunity that presents itself to be the someone that fills the empty chair in someone’s life, will you? And when the opportunity arises for the empty chair in your life to be filled, will you let someone know? Will you invite someone to be of service in your life?
I promise you, both opportunities are blessings, gifts filled with a lifetime of reasons to be grateful that you or someone else did not let the opportunity in the moment pass by.