"Give me a hive five," he said as I walked past him, shades on, not paying him any attention!
But from the corner of my eye I noticed he was tall and had a nice smile. So I slowed up. I was walking with a purpose. I decided to answer, but with a little attitude, just so he knew I wasn't really in the mood or place to talk to anyone. But he was cute enough to get a little bit of my conversation.
"For what?" I said. I really thought this response through. I think I caught him off guard with my response, but he was intrigued enough to engage in conversation.
"You know for what," he said.
I was puzzled for a few seconds and then he pointed out my shirt. I was wearing a shirt given to me by a friend that had the infamous Beyoncé phrase "I woke up like this." I honestly forgot what I was wearing! That would explain the other random looks I was getting as I walked along the beach! I was ready to conclude that either I was looking exceptionally good that day or Florida people were a little odd and had staring problems! I was leaning toward the latter. My hair was not on its best behavior that day, but apparently I caught his eye for more than just my shirt!
He introduced himself as a minister. Go figure! Walking on the strip of Ft. Lauderdale beach, who knew I would meet a minister of all people! I looked up to the sky and laughed at God. He has such a since of humor. So I figured I would drop my minister title as well! Something I hardly do unless needed.
"Well praise the Lord!" He proclaimed
"Oh Lord! I got a churchy one!" I said to myself.
He began to share with me about his ministry back home in Chicago, which included ministering to women in regards to health, self esteem, etc. I was engaged but still a bit skeptical. What was he trying to sell and was he trying to minister to me!? Do I look like I need help? I mean, I did just finish counseling and definitely dealing with some things, but does it show!? Did he discern all of this! I was ready to shut it all down. I wasn't sure what his motives were. But he had me hooked! His smile was like a million dollars!
He asked me where I was headed and I told him to sit on the beach. So we proceeded to walk toward the beach together. But before we went, he let his boys know that he would catch up with them later. I immediately let him know I didn't want to disturb their time. He then made it clear to me that they would be ok and he was looking to get to know me. I smiled to myself just a little bit. It's nothing like a man, even if he was a stranger, making you feel like number one, and in front of his friends!
We took off our shoes and headed toward the water engaged in great conversation. I bought a beach towel earlier, so we sat on the beach and continued talking for at least another hour. We laughed and talked about everything from ministry, family, relationships, scripture, etc. He complimented me numerous times and shared that if I did live in Chicago we would definitely date. Long distance relationships were the furthest from each of our minds. We settled in just enjoying the moment. There were absolutely no expectations and I was absolutely ok with that. A friendship could definitely blossom!
As it got later we headed back toward the strip for him to meet up with his friends and for me to wait for my ride. The moment was coming to and end. And honestly, I didn't want it to end! This only happens in movies! And this movie I was truly enjoying. I honestly thought of various ways in which I could stay longer but I knew I had to go. The ball was over Cinderella. He walked me out to the street as my ride pulled up. We gave each other a hug and agreed to keep in touch and be friends.
I learned a few things from this experience:
1) Wearing shirts with phrases on them attract attention and are great conversation starters (but remember what you have on so everyone doesn't seem weird to you by staring and you don't catch an attitude with everyone!)
2) Enjoy the moments and people that God allows to come into your space
He was a stranger. Never met him a day before in my life and not sure I will ever see or hear from him again. But that day he made an impact and provided what I needed at that time. Every man that stops to talk to you or entertains conversation with you doesn't have to be the one or your next boo. He can simply be for the moment. His companionship for those few hours and conversation had me smiling and singing in my Ice Cube voice, "today was a good day." I felt like it was God's way of showing me that there are still good men out there; men that are kind, generous, understanding, and don't mind listening to me talk! Now if the man was faking and running game, believe me, he did a great job. And either way, there was no harm done and again, I got what I needed.
Vacations have a way of making you feel free and open to new things and new people. Why not live everyday like its a vacation. Be open to new. Be open to single moments. Be open to random reminders and deposits from God! He loves you that much!