Last week was an interesting week, well, at least Wednesday, Thursday and Friday were interesting. I work in an independent school library and the national conference of independent school librarians met in our City for those three days. The head librarian at my school was one of the lead organizers and as such, the staff (me and another woman) had the privilege of not only attending the conference, but of also being de facto tour guides on one of the buses.
I had no pre-written script in place and I certainly did not study up on the history of the area to dazzle the attendees from all the country. I had no script, but I was not self-conscious about any of it; I just jumped in and did Donna, after all, this is kind of what I do and kind of what I am, anyway.
To my surprise, the people on my bus loved my schtick, my off the cuff, somewhat humorous, somewhat self-deprecating banter. I even told them that getting them back to the bus was like “herding cats,” which they kept repeating back to me for the rest of the week. One woman told me that my “monologue” was just the right blend of humor, facts and compassion. The first night, as people got off the bus, they patted me on the back or on the arm and smiled and thanked me for what I had done that day. Another woman told me she changed buses because she had been told our bus was the fun bus. The final night, at the banquet, one woman told me she had been attending these conferences for years and I was the best “tour guide”ever. She looked like she was about to cry when she said it. The more positive feedback I received, the more astounded and amazed I became. I was even called vivacious and a dynamo!?
I have never been so affirmed or encouraged by a group of strangers as I was this week. My co-worker told the head librarian, who did not ride the bus, that “Donna is a hit and she is so funny.” This was a side of Donna neither had ever seen.
As I think about the reactions of the riders on my bus, I come to this conclusion. God whispers to us in unexpected places. I fully expected that during those three days, I would just regurgitate facts as we rolled across the Golden Gate Bridge into Marin or when we pulled up to the wineries in Sonoma County, or as we wound our way through the streets of San Francisco. Surely, I could sound authoritative as I led the librarians through the halls of the school where I work. What I did not expect was that God would whisper his love for me, and His affirmation of all that He has given to me through the voices of people I will probably never see again. He knows the plans He has for me and He underscores those plans in the most unexpected places.I love it when God whispers.
As I boarded the bus for the last time that Friday evening, to bid them all adieu, I thanked them for allowing me to let my hair down and since I was not Irish, I had no wonderful Irish blessing for them, but I did leave them with this word: “May the Lord watch between you and me when we are absent one from another.”
Who knows; maybe God whispered to some of them in an unexpected place, too.