It’s a strange concept, loving strangers, but loving strangers changes you. It causes you to intentionally look outside of yourself, to give pieces of your story to people you may never see again, trusting that they will treasure them. I think that is beautiful.
Here are a few things you can do to love the strangers you meet every day.
1. Write a Love Letter:
A few years ago I came across a movement called More Love Letters. The movement started when Hannah Brencher left letters to strangers all over NYC, writing the words that she needed to hear. From there it grew into a blog where she asked if anyone needed a love letter that day and then the stories started pouring in. Now people from all over the world are writing letters to strangers. Some people are even asking for letters to be written to the hurting people in their lives, and little by little words are changing people. And it all started because a girl left a piece of her heart on the stairs for someone to find.
2. Pay for a Meal:
I have not actually had the pleasure of doing this yet, but I have had someone do it for me. It made my day. What’s really cool about this is that you can bless someone without ever showing your face.
3. Talk to People:
My family is a huge proponent of talking to strangers. Every trip we take we come back with stories of people we will probably never see again, and yet, they are our favorite stories. Some of those stories hit us in the chest and knock the air out of us and make us better. I always find it amazing how the words of a stranger can change you.
4. Compliment & Encourage People:
Does the girl next to you in line have gorgeous eyes? Tell her! Does the mother in the grocery store have a bunch of kids? Encourage her to keep on keeping on or tell her she's doing a great job. I once had someone walk up to me in Walmart and say “Hey, I just wanted to tell you that you’re super pretty. Hope you have a nice day.” and then they walked away. Despite the sketchiness of people in Walmart, it turned my bad day right around! Look for opportunities to compliment and encourage the people around you.
Smiles are a beautiful thing. Smiles mean hope and hope means you’re not alone---and we all need to be reminded of that.
I am leaving today for a month long trip out west and I cannot wait to intentionally love the strangers I am going to be running into (and hopefully turning a few into friends). I am especially looking forward to leaving love letters in airports, book stores, doorways, and basically everywhere I can. Hopefully, I’ll come back with stories to tell!
How have you connected with strangers? Have you ever done any of these things? Share in the comments below!