I hugged a stranger today. I do that sometimes.
My job as a Real Estate Broker is pretty fulfilling. Helping people find their perfect house, or sell the property they no longer want, comes with a good reward of knowing that I've helped people.
My job as a Real Estate Appraiser is pretty much the opposite. It's all solid properties and numbers and deadlines, and anxious clients who wish I could 5 hours of work in 10 minutes. I do get good feedback from my clients, but I've never met most of them. I probably never will either. And for every good feedback, I piss someone off. I hung up on a man just a few weeks ago who was yelling at me. People get very unhappy when their house isn't worth what they want it to be worth.
And then there are days like today. Days like today remind me that even with the appraising side, God can use me to bless someone. This woman is selling her house. I was there for the buyer's loan appraisal. Her dog was acting silly towards me. Her eyes got misty when she told me that the dog used to do that silly act for her husband. Her husband had passed away about a year ago and the place was just too big for her to handle herself.
The people buying the house are buying it with a loan that requires the house to be in a certain condition. I asked her about one thing in particular because it didn't meet loan requirements. She got a bit panicky. I explained to her what she would need to do to fix it.
She then asked me if it would delay the sale. I told her that it really shouldn't. My report can go to underwriting and the little tag-along saying she fixed the problem could just be added in next week. Then her eyes teared up. This has been so hard on her.
She was widowed once before, in her early 30's. During that marriage she found out that she couldn't have children. When she fell in love again, this man already had children. They bought this house, he gave her the family she had wanted. This was so much more than a house. This was a home filled with love and laughter for decades. And it was obvious that she didn't want to leave, but she didn't want to stay. Dealing with that, and packing, and sorting thru a happy lifetime of things in closets was taking its toll.
I assured her that this one item was an easy fix - she should be able to get help right at Home Depot. She looked relieved and heartbroken, mourning her soulmate whose absence brought on this huge change in life. She thanked me for the reassurance. I gave her a hug. She hugged me so tight. She thanked me for the hug. She said she's a hugger. She went back inside. I finished the house and went home.
Tonight I am thankful for being able to be a blessing to people while doing my job. I don't work in an office. I don't have an office crew or coworkers who I meet at the water cooler. I'm not out there where I can make a difference a lot of the times. But some days . . . days like today . . . God reminds me that he can use something so little to mean so much to someone who needs it.