“Here comes the sun. Do do do do.” – The Beatles
The weather in Atlanta today was just short of brilliant. The kind of day you want to take home to momma, and eventually pick out china patterns and spend the rest of your life with. By mid-afternoon, the combination of gentle warmth and southern breeze was so perfect I wanted to kiss Atlanta on the mouth. It was almost as if Someone had created this day just for me.
As I always do, I decided to make the most of this bright, bright, sunshine-y day (Well, as good as I could make it without a lake and a boat). So after my workout, I went on a run. The conditions were so ideal, I felt I might be able to give Forrest Gump a run for his money. I just ran. For miles and miles, I ran (well, it was actually just under 3 miles. Forrest is safe). But the whole time I ran, the sun was running alongside me, and the sunshine on my shoulders was making me happy, John Denver-style.
When I returned home, my 10-year-old son was shooting baskets in the driveway. So while the sun looked on, I played a game of basketball with my Boy. Typically, I let him score a few baskets, and then once he’s got a good feeling about himself, I start draining shots and pull away for the win. This way he has that good I-need-to-practice-a-lot-more-to-beat-Dad feeling. It has played out this way for several years now.
He won. And I didn’t let him win. Apparently, practicing every day works. Either that or I’m getting old. Or maybe a combination of both. Either way, I could feel the sun laughing at me for losing to a 5th-grader. But it was so warm, I didn’t even mind. I laughed along. Just grateful for the opportunity to play with my son in the sun.
After a haircut outside on the deck, I hopped in the shower. And the sun followed me there, too. You see, there’s a window in the shower. And the sunlight was mixing with the steam of the hot water to create what looked like a ray of light that was focused on my chest, right where my heart is. Like a sniper aiming for the kill, the sun had my heart in its crosshairs, giving the appearance that it was delivering warmth directly to the most important part of me. And I loved that picture.
Because I think it’s possible…
…possible that we can live our lives in such a way as to send out a ray of sunshine that warms the hearts of the people we encounter. Like a sniper armed with encouragement and tenderness, we can take aim at others’ hearts and bring warmth to them. Warmth that we all desperately need. Sometimes, it’s easier or safer to be mean-spirited. Perhaps life has been difficult, or we’ve been burned in the past when we’ve said too much, shone too brightly. But we need to resist the urge to be like those cold and timid souls who bring dark clouds with them wherever they go, those sunshine-stealers who cannot accept warmth or love and end up all alone (if you don’t count their cats).
Warm hearts are better than cold hearts. They give more, love more, laugh more, say more, live more. They’re surrounded by other hearts who need to share in their warmth. They bring blue skies with them wherever they go. And we all need a little more blue sky.
Oh, and if you’re running short on sunshine, come see me. I’ve always got a pocketful.