Sometimes a morning walk along the beach will produce to our delight and amazement a perfect little starfish that has washed upon the ashore. It is an unexpected little treasure that we must savor before the tide takes it back out.
So too with friendships…so too with Mr. Oren. I don’t know why I thought about him today of all days, but I did. Maybe I am in need of his perceptive counsel. He had a wealth of it to impart and I became an eager recipient.
During my teaching years, one of the janitors in charge of my room was Mr. Oren Morris. Some people don’t notice those in the far perimeters of their frenzied world. Perhaps it may be due to self absorption or status incompatibility or something else entirely. However, long ago, my grandparents showed me through their example that we need to learn the names of those who help us in whatever inconsequential way. If I hadn’t paid attention to their lesson, I might have missed my Mr. Oren.
He and I made acquaintance right away and became fast friends. He was never intrusive in the way that he performed his job. Mr. Oren’s joy preceded him into any room along with his ready smile and a laugh that shook his whole body.
Those end of the teaching day hours were precious and jam packed with to-do’s and never ending tasks to complete to be ready for tomorrow. It was tempting to keep my head down and ignore any distraction to hurry the process along. Stopping, for anything, would only prolong it. However, I came to look forward to Mr. Oren’s appearance every day. In fact, I came to anticipate it. He oozed the wisdom of a life well lived. He would leave me with tidbits of happiness that lightened my load in inexplicable ways.
I am a lover of stories and he had an interesting one. In his career life he was a business executive, but after retirement, he chose to become a janitor to supplement his income. He was the epitome of you can’t judge a book by its cover. He had a strong Faith that directed his steps. I called him my oracle because he dispensed his sage advice in just the right dosage coupled with a divine knowledge of exactly what I needed to hear. One day unexpectedly, I had to let him go. I think God had him in mind for another job. I am so thankful that I knew what a treasure I had found. I’m so glad that I savored that treasure before he was gone.
Everyone needs a Mr. Oren in their life. I am sure glad I had one.
“Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future.” ~ Proverbs 19:20