I had the privilege of meeting my friend Sandi Joy just a couple of months ago at a conference/retreat for Christian women comedians, speakers, and writers. In fact, Sandi was the first person I met when I arrived at the hotel. It was a “dark and stormy night” kind of Sunday afternoon, and I had been suffering with an ugly migraine all day. The rainy drive up to Covington had almost done me in.
While I was checking in, this beam of sunshine that is Sandi Joy walked through the lobby. I recognized her from the Facebook page for conference attendees. Yes, her red wop-sided hair-cut made her hard to miss, but it was her presence even in that Holiday Inn Express lobby that made me immediately recognize her as one of my people. And even though she is very much a Yankee straight off the plane from Philly, she somehow knew me, and gave me a big hug. Walking into that hotel, I knew I didn’t belong with that group of accomplished women, yet Sandi Joy made me feel “belonged.”
She is a walking-around example of kindness. As I was working on this series of blogs about this very thing, Sandi posted about an encounter that she had on a flight home. It is such a remarkable example of how our decision to practice kindness can smooth away the rough edges of life, and shows how kindness can turn an ugly, and potentialy devastating, situation into a beautiful moment. Here are her words:
I had an interesting experience earlier this week. I was on the plane home from Atlanta and had just dozed off when suddenly I was awakened by liquid spraying all over me. As my eyes shot open the poor guy in the seat next to me was trying to control a contigo bottle that had literally turned into a geyser the size of Old Faithful (slight exaggeration).
Apparently soda in that brand of bottle and high altitude don’t mix. It went everywhere- on the ceiling, the windows, the people in front of us and of course the passengers beside him. He was horrified and was apologizing profusely, all the while trying to wrestle
this spewing fountain of soda into submission. Everyone around us was angry and the flight attendant didn’t seem too pleased either… and that’s when I just started laughing. I leaned in and said “I’m a comedian and you just gave me a gift.” He didn’t believe me until I handed him my business card. I offered him my scarf to clean up with, saying it was no big deal I could just wash it when I got home.
The flight attendant brought some paper towels, we wiped down seats and windows and the ceiling and settled back in. I had closed my eyes for a few moments when I felt a light tap on my shoulder and my new friend handed me his phone to read what he had typed.
“Thank you for making me laugh. I am autistic and flying on a plane already makes me very nervous.”
We just don’t know who God is going to put in our paths on any given day. I’m thankful that I didn’t blow it by reacting badly. As a result he and I wound up having a lovely conversation about life and death and hospice and caring for people. He even shared a beautiful poem he had written and gave me the book he was carrying with him that
he had finished reading— a gesture which occurred BEFORE the soda exploded. He was kind and sweet and I am glad to have met him.
Thank you, Sandi Joy for allowing me to post your story!
Be sure to visit Sandi’s Facebook page, Sandi Joy Comedy, as well as her website (sandijoycomedy.com) for information about booking, as well as her upcoming DVD. Keep up with her shows and appearances, and if she is ever performing in your area- go! You won’t be disappointed.