They called him Jewel. Lean and lanky with weathered hands and salt and pepper hair, he was neatly attired in his guest services uniform. I had an issue that needed resolving. I sought help from three persons on the hotel’s staff and each pointed me in Jewel’s direction. I posed my question and he paused for a brief moment as he contemplated resolutions. Then with a quick nod and a shy smile, he gestured with his index finger for me to follow him.
It was a short two block ride through downtown Little Rock. He shifted from rescuer to tour guide and historian, pointing out the architecture. His Southern drawl was comfortable and easy, like flannel fabric on a cold night. His laugh was contagious and abundant, something found when I had not even known it was missing.
In our brief encounter I heard a story of land and service, of generosity and blessings. My spirit was nourished and a weight of sadness was lifted from my shoulders. I felt renewed. Problem resolved, he returned me to our starting point and wished me a day of abundance.
When I thanked him, it was for far more than he will ever realize. Jewel was a true gem.