Do You Know the Moped Man?

There’s a guy who drives up and down my street on a yellow moped. I first encountered him when I was out walking last year. He beeped and waved, shouted something unintelligible and swerved back and forth. Needless to say, it was a little unnerving.

The moped man knows where I live. He recognizes my car. At first, I was frightened that he was privy to such details, but considering he’s known for over a year and has yet to abuse that privilege, he doesn’t scare me anymore. In fact, he’s one of those people who never fails to make my day. And all he has to do is drive past my house on his yellow moped.

He always wears a helmet, but I saw his face for the first time the other day. He was driving a suburban, but I knew it was him from the beep and the wave. And I thought to myself, “I could die happy now.” That’s how much joy I get from this guy I really don’t even know.

And I think that’s why God put the moped man on the fringes of my life: to bring joy in the midst of the mundane.

Sunday afternoon, I was driving home from church when I spotted three teenage boys on the sidewalk. They were waving at a car up ahead and, at first, I thought they knew the driver. But then they waved at the next car and the next, and I realized that they were simply searching for a response. I thought of the moped man – of the simplest things that bring pleasure – and I waved back. The boys erupted in smiles, fists raised high in victory.

And that’s when I realized it… Though I was probably the fifth car that passed, I was the first that evoked the victory fists. Meaning I was the first to wave back. I wonder if I was the only one who ever waved back.

And to think that my one, simple gesture could have been the thing that made those boys’ day like the moped man makes mine.

So go ahead and smile at the people around you. Wave at those passing by. You never know how much joy the simplest gesture can bring.

“Just smile and wave, boys. Smile and wave.”

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