Thursday, January 19, 2012

Dorothy Neely: A+ in Friendship

Name: Dorothy Neely

I'm sitting next to Dorothy Neely at the cash register in the college bookstore, asking her questions in between customer transactions. A tall guy with a beard and a camo hat on comes up to the register.
"Hello!" Dorothy says. "87 cents!"
He gives her the money and spots the handmade sign Dorothy and I left laying on the counter.
"I get an A+ in friendship!" Dorothy proclaims to him, "What do you get??"
"I get a D." The guy replies.
We all laugh.

Dorothy is so busy helping customers at the register. I squeeze in a Q.
"Favorite color?"
We laugh, and she says, "What??"
I say, these are going to be dumb questions.

I look at her as she works the reg. She knows exactly what she is doing in her job. As she talks to the customer, I think about how the operations of the college (or any large institution involving people and money) stress me out. But she just works and is absolutely free in everything she does.

I like that I'm not going to write something about Dorothy like I wrote for Luis, because every person is different, and the way you interact with them is different. I didn't really schedule this time with her, I just showed up because I need to pick up my books for class anyway. And that's what I like about Dorothy- I can just show up and say hi to her and it's always super duper encouraging no matter what. There are positive results when you are in the presence of great people.

People are in line, so I pause to get a vanilla latte. I come back to the register and ask Dorothy if she's stressed.
"Not really," she replies, "I just feel others getting anxious and I'm just like, there's no reason for us to get this way. The guy is still standing here and he's just fine."

After she goes up the stairs to grab something and comes back down, I ask her what her favorite things to do are.
"Sing, spend time with Jesus. I like to do that kind of thing!"
Her most relaxing thing is drinking coffee.
Her favorite TV show is Glee, and she finds it hilarious that it influences her. She tells me about her love for it: "I was like, 'I'm going to treat everyone at work just like she does!!'"

Dorothy is an amazing person. She has free spirits where ever she goes. She works in the college coffee shop and bookstore, where she spreads joy and freedom to her coworkers and the students at school. Prior to this season of her life, she spent a year in Mexico doing a program called "Cocreating Art"- in which she taught children prophetic art. Before that, she went through Bible School. Dorothy loves life, and she is always seeking to get closer to God. She paints, and she paints splendidly. Her artwork is absolutely lovely.

I love spending time with her, and I love laughing with her. Her passion for life and joy and God inspires me, and being around her helped me get over a bump in my life where I wasn't making the healthiest decisions for myself. She continues to encourage me, and I continue enjoying every moment spent with her, even if it is just a pop in, sporadic moment. I could better say, especially if it is a pop in, sporadic moment. Those are always the best, and the most spirit-lifting.

Thank you, Dorothy, for being you.

Inspiring art by Dorothy Neely

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