My husband worked for a time selling men’s shoes at Nordstrom. While employed there he met Dan, whose job was to shine men’s shoes. Charles and Dan became good friends, trading jokes and jibes each day when they met in the shoe department. Over time Charles learned that Dan was a lonely guy with few real friends and little or no contact with his grown children.
One particular day Charles made a point of finding out Dan’s birthday. It was apparent to him that this crusty old codger would enjoy some acknowledgment. Dan was turning seventy—not a small milestone. The morning before the big day, Charles announced at an employee meeting that he’d have a cake for Dan in the lunchroom at noon. He invited as many as could make it.
The following day Dan walked in for lunch and was overcome with music, cake, and a bombardment of Nordstrom friends. He wept at the sight, stating in a wobbly voice, “This is the first birthday party I’ve ever had.” You can imagine how Charles felt. He’d followed his hunch and carried it out. A couple of years later we received an early morning phone call from the personnel manager at the store. Dan had died peacefully the previous day.
Now it was Charles’ turn to weep. A man unlike any Charles had known before had become a good friend and now he was gone. Meeting Dan the shoeshine man had changed his life. “It didn’t cost me a thing,” said Charles. “Dan gave me more than I ever gave him.”
Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. Romans 12:10