The story is about my husband, Douglas. The most extraordinary aspect of Douglas is his ability to make friends wherever we go. He never meets a stranger, in that everyone he encounters is fascinating to him, and he cannot wait to hear their stories. I call him the “Friend Whisperer!”
In Quarteria, Portugal, we met the nice man pictured on the right who helped us find our Airbnb apartment. Douglas went back down to the little pub at the end of the street the next night to find the man and buy him a beer. He ended up singing along with the men there, although he could not speak a word of Portuguese.
Before we left that beautiful place, Douglas obtained the name of our wonderful helper, and he had someone take a picture of them together. He still sends him post cards to let him know that he still remembers his kindness. When we returned the next year, he found his home and they enjoyed time together.
I envy him this ability to reach across race, language, social class, gender, and all of the other categories that serve to divide us to make friends and see the humanity of others. He is never afraid to begin a conversation.
Of course, sometimes it doesn’t go as well as he would like, especially with very snooty people. They see him as inferior, when he grew up rather wealthy and is highly educated. But, he knows how to shake the dirt off his feet and move on to more interesting people.
So, today, I honor the man who sees everyone as potentially a pal or buddy. As a Christian, he thinks of everyone as his equal. I like that in him, which is why I had him pose for the last picture below, as a reminder that he really is the best guy in the world.