The Eighth Wonder
I was standing in front of baggage claim in Rome Italy.
My bags, along with a dozen others in our group weren’t on the
The tour guide was going to each person to get our baggage claim
She got to me as I held out my claim ticket.
She shouted loud enough for everyone within 50 feet to hear:
“Oh God you’re handsome! You look just like...” as she named a
famous heartthrob singer/movie star. “I can say that as an
older woman,” she said. “I can say things now that I couldn’t
when I was younger,” she remarked.
Everyone turned around to look.
I was rather shocked at the unexpected outburst.
Two days later the bags were brought to our hotel. We toured
Rome and Florence. During the entire trip, she never called me
by name, even though it was on my name tag pinned on my shirt.
She called me by the movie star’s name. As we walked I heard
her ask Pastor Smith, “Is ‘The Movie Star’ a priest?”
“He’s a pastor of a church,” he answered.
My mother and two younger brothers were also on the trip.
She addressed them as the brothers and mother of the movie star.
She asked my youngest brother, 18 years my junior, which of us
was the oldest.
Did that go to my head?
Did it puff me up?
Did it make my smile brighter and my heart lighter?
Did I as a minister succumb to the lower nature of letting
flattery influence my thought and mood?
I found myself taking a little more time in the mirror than
normal trying to see the resemblance. My mother as she sat next
to me on the plane home said, “Now that I look at you closely,
you DO look like him.”
I saw many of the great sites of Italy, awesome churches, great
statues and history. The works of Michelangelo and the other
great artists of that period were astounding.
With all of that grandeur, I am sure the thing that will remain
with me most is Noa Harley’s simply calling me the clone to the
It was more impacting and brought a bigger smile than the other
seven wonders of the world, whatever they are.
You have the same power as Noa.
With your words, you can bring more change and uplift to
another’s spirit than all of the great engineering feats
of man put together.
You have that power with the power of your words.
I determined that I would pass the blessing. I will find
someone soon. I will find the beauty; it’s there with everyone,
and I’ll proclaim it.
Perhaps the greatest work of art is to tell someone that they
are a work of art.
Who was the heartthrob movie star singer? It doesn’t matter so
don’t ask. I saw and felt the power that positive words from a
stranger had on my life.
The power of positive words,
the eighth wonder of the world
...or perhaps the first.