This Sunday was a team meeting, where we got together, all six of us in one place for the first time in a couple of months, to study Bonhoeffer and talk about God and life, and eat muffins and chocolate, and laugh, and celebrate our little community while studying a book about Christian community. It was good, as always. (A note on 'the team,' for those who may be confused: I live with one other guy, who is 'my teammate.' There are three girls living in a suburb of Saint Petersburg, at whose house we were meeting; one teaches at the same schools I do, the other two teach in their city. And a TeachOverseas administrator who oversees overseas [ha, so clever] teachers in our whole region lives in St. Pete also, and joins us when he can, as today.)
This story is about what happened on the way home from the girls' place, though. On the subway, my administrator and I were talking busily about nothing spiritual at all. We were rambling about sports, mostly, with the Super Bowl due to take place at 3:30 AM that morning. (Why do they schedule it like that? It's like they don't even care about the Russian audience.) He left the subway two stops before I and my teammate do, and I rode in silence. I did notice the man across from me asking the woman next to him for a sheet of paper, but only because I notice things when I'm riding public transit with nothing to do. I'm a people-watcher.
But as I stood to leave the subway, he grabbed my elbow and handed me the sheet of paper pictured. I wanted to talk more -- why had he thought to give this to me? But I was leaving the subway. I gave a huge smile, said 'thank you' and then, 'why?' (in Russian) but had no time to hear his reply, if he made one.
I still don't know why he gave me this. Did we do anything to tip ourselves off as believers? All we talked about was sports. Or the Bible -- having gove straight to the team meeting from church, I still had my Bible. Or he just thought the English speakers should have this? It's doubtful he spoke much English -- I think he needed his smartphone even to write what he did. I assume he meant the subjunctive, "[May] God bless you!" instead of the indicative past-tense statement he did make (gah, I'm such an English teacher), but none of that matters. It was a moment of such unexpected joy to receive that, and I'm glad it happened, and I pray blessings in return, tenfold more than a single sheet of paper, on that anonymous subway traveler's head. I thought I was here to interact with and spread God's blessings to the people here, but I won't complain about letting God use random strangers to remind me of Him.
So, go bless someone today. Ask for a paper to write a note to a stranger on a subway, or leave fresh cookies at someone's door, or do something to make someone smile and ask why, and be happier, even not knowing why. If it points to God and gives Him glory, so much the better. I forgot the point of the story, other than that, but it was a unique moment of happiness, and I thought I'd share. Blessings on you all. God blessed me. God blesses you. Share that with someone today.