There’s a bagel shop near my daughters’ school where I sometimes grab a cup of coffee while killing time between appointments. I’m not sure how many times I had passed through the shop’s glass doorway before I finally noticed a sticker that someone had stuck there at eye-level.
“You are beautiful,” it announced, bestowing a blessing on me as I passed.
As I walked toward my car after seeing that sticker for the first time, I realized that its message was working on me. I actually felt beautiful, which is something I hadn’t felt in ages, if at all.
I don’t know whether those words created the beauty I felt, or whether they simply lifted to my awareness a beauty long-hidden within me. But it was as if that sticker had reached out to place a hand on my head, speaking a blessing that named a truth I would have otherwise missed.
I realized as I walked toward my car that day that I was smiling, lost in both the absurdity and the wonder of that word.
Several months have passed since that sticker caught my eye. And yet, its message lingers. Thinking back on that day, the sheer grace of it overwhelms me, and I wonder: What kind of person places such an indiscriminate message in a place where all sorts of people will pass? And the only answer I can imagine is that, whatever sort of person it is, they would surely be pleased that their message found a home in the heart of someone like me.
I stopped by the shop last week. As I passed through the doors, I did what I have done every time since first noticing the sticker. I looked for it so that it could bless me once more. Only the sticker was gone.
And my heart sank.
But there’s a peculiar thing about blessings. They live even after the sound diminishes, or the writing fades, or the sticker disappears.
I learned that truth when I felt the smile creeping back onto my face as I walked toward my car once more. Though the sticker was absent, the blessing remains.
“You are beautiful,” it proclaims. Only it seems to come from within me now. It’s almost as if the unseen hands which peeled the sticker from the door did so to stick it to my heart.