Telling the Truth About How We Are

I go down to the hotel lobby for change. 

"Can I have a ten, a five, and five ones?" I ask the woman at the desk. Her name tag says, I Am Lisa. 

"Sure," she says. She unlocks the cash drawer. And I ask, "How's everything going?" 

She looks at me. "It's been really hard," she says. There's no self-pity in her voice, no please fix me cry. Just one heavy, human sigh. 

"Oh," I say, surprised and moved by her candor. It's like she walked into my heart and turned it on. "I'm so sorry." 

"Yeah," Lisa says, "you wouldn't believe how hard it's been. Just..." her voice fades out. 

She counts out the bills carefully, hands them to me with a sweet smile. And I realize something.

"Thank you for your honesty," I tell her. "We say we're fine when we're often not. But when we're honest about how we are, we let other people be honest about how they are." 

My heart is open wide now, hungry to see the humanity in others and to feel my own. 

Lisa looks at me. "Thank you for accepting my honesty," she says. 

I nod. And I leave her where I found her. Knowing full well that she has put me on higher ground. 

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