Just Wave: Following that Holy Nudge

PHOTO CREDIT: Carol Jorgensen

Just Wave

The Benedictine Center welcomes stories of encounter that remind us of the nearness of God and that call us to living the way of hospitality Benedict commended in the Rule. This reflection by Carol Jorgensen, Hospitality Specialist for the Benedictine Center, captures the wisdom of one such moment. 

Just wave.

Just. WAVE. Smile, too.

The nudge comes when you see someone sitting on that curbside bench and you’re sitting in your car at the stoplight.

You look over, and see him looking at you.

But your mind is already busy: what is waiting on your desk at work -- what time you need to get the kiddos after practice tonight -- what are you picking up for dinner -- what are you going to do about that fight you had this morning --

What do you do about this nudge to be friendly?

Besides, we don’t just WAVE at people.

That’s weird. That’s invasive. That’s uncomfortable...

That’s vulnerable.



Well, what if he only stares?

What if he flips you off?

What if he is violent and you just gave him a reason?

What if he thinks you’re being offensive, sitting there in your car while he waits for a bus?

Good grief.

Just wave...and smile, too.

Well, hey, look at that! He’s smiling at you with the warmest look you have seen all week.

Now he’s waving and adding a friendly little salute. As if he’s saying, “Well done, human...you see me and I see you”.

Light’s green. Gotta go before you hear the honk from behind.

You drive away, still smiling.

Why are you crying? Well, don’t overthink it.

Just wave again next time. Smile at the next person.

Continue trying to be a good human.


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