Have you ever received a moment in life you wish you could do again?

A do over kind of moment?

I am not one for regrets, however I received a moment this morning around the breakfast table I wish I could do over. If I could, it would definitely play out a tad bit differently.

We were chatting around the breakfast table this morning, after eating a delicious breakfast offered by friends. Pedro came over to the table with a couple of The Contributor papers, his seller ID and the yellow sign he holds to inform buyers how much the paper cost. He began sharing with us some information about his story published in The Contributor, that he wanted to share his story at the church potluck tomorrow, the mistake The Contributor had made (they put the wrong picture with his article) and how he wanted us to take 10-minutes to read his story right then and there.

Before Pedro could get out three sentences I was reaching into my computer bag to get a $1 to purchase a paper. He refused it politely a couple of times while trying to explain to us why he had come to the table. I kept trying to hand it to him, and he kept on talking. Finally he said, “Well, you don’t have to buy it. I really just want you to read my story.”

I stopped. This time I heard him.

I read his story.

If I could live that moment again, I would have been slower to reach for my $1. I would not assume he wanted so little from me. The invitation Pedro extended was greater than that, demanded more of me than a $1. He was requesting my presence… he wanted me to see him, hear him and enter into his story of peace & fear. He wanted to teach or remind me that we are story people, and that not everyone’s story- especially the nine men being housed at the church this week- is the same.

Oh well, I cannot go back.

I will count it as another lesson learn in a book full of lessons collected over 32 years of life, and hope next time I will remember.

http://www.nashvillecontributor.org/main/ (check out The Contributor online)