I’m right sure I’m not the first one to notice it but I’ve become convinced that our moments of lingering show how we feel about others. Or maybe it’s a combination of that and how we feel about a particular event that we’ve just shared. For instance, if you see people hanging around in the hallway after a movie and chatting about what they’ve just seen, there’s a good chance they enjoyed it. If you see people standing around their seats after a concert ended, talking with one another and smiling, it’s fairly likely they rather liked the performance.
It doesn’t really take a crowd, I guess. Might be when you see a couple of folks happen into each other on the sidewalk. If they’re both in a hurry, caught in between pressing duties, they might just exchange happy hellos and be on their way. Or it might be that they figure whatever’s ahead will still be waiting a while later and they’ll stand and talk for ten minutes.
Whatever and wherever, it’s something I like to see. Teachers talking together after a meeting ends. Administrators catching up in the hallway between appointments. Folks hanging around the cash register after they’ve already paid for their groceries and there’s no one in line behind them. Parking lot conversations between neighbors who’ve been too rushed for too many months.
I’m not saying this observation system is a flawless means of measuring events or relationships. Sometimes, one person loves to talk and the other is simply too courteous to just walk away. But whenever I see a lot of folks lingering in the sanctuary after services, talking with each other, taking their time and just hanging out for a while?
Well, I gotta tell you, that always makes me smile. Makes me want to just stand there and soak that stuff up like cool air on an August morning.