My husband has a gift for engaging people. In less than a minute he will have even the most introverted person chatting amiably about themselves, their children or any number of subjects. Not only does he draw people out, but he remembers their names and most of what they tell him. By doing so he lays the first block in the foundation of relationships that eventually turn acquaintances into friends. As a by-product he has also been rewarded with small favors that simply make his business life easier. He is greeted with a smile almost everywhere he goes, and I am amazed at the number of people he knows. I have watched him coo over pictures of grandchildren, spontaneously pray for those who were ill or hurting, and exchange stories about beloved pets. No person is too small to get his attention, no topic too insignificant. He has a heart as big as all outdoors, yet I have not always appreciated his gift.
When we first met, I also found him charming and attractive, and when we were married I resented the time he spent so freely with others. I wanted his undivided attention and did not see his talent for what it was. I steamed when he spent extra time talking with a clerk or mechanic, and left me sitting in the car, or when we went to a party and I barely saw him all night. However, I learned he was not ignoring me, but adventuring into a life of grace. He was accepting people as they were, where they were and offering sincere friendship.
As I have matured and grown, I have become less selfish and learned to admire his gift. It is like watching a gardener plant and water, until a beautiful garden blossoms. Sometimes simply altering our perspective allows us to see the beauty in someone else more clearly. Now I always carry a book with me, in case my husband is planting seeds.