Day 10: Coming Across My Path.
11 January, 2011 § 1 Comment
On a theological level, I’m not sure if I’m comfortable expressing a conviction that God specifically sets every little moment or interaction or event into place — but what is life-giving to my soul is to acknowledge, and give praise accordingly, small graces throughout the day that ultimately reflect this unceasingly creative God I serve.
Today I smiled at a man in an untucked, buttoned-up collar shirt; I nodded at his children; and then, as they started to walk away after that brief visual exchange, the man turned around and approached me again. “Hey,” he said. “Uhh — yeah?” I replied. “Hey,” he repeated. “You’re — well, you’re the only person who actually looked me in the eyes and smiled at my kids this morning and I wanted to say thanks because you don’t understand what that means to us right now. So… thanks.”
All it took was a small act of recognition on my part, an extending of hospitality that says I see you and I welcome you, but it was heartbreakingly simple in its direct effect. May the stillness and the knowing only increase.
Today Miss Margaret, a woman with owl-like glasses made of horn and wire perching underneath a mop of silver-shot tousled curls, grasped my hand in her own shaking, gnarled fingers before lifting it towards her face and kissing the back of it — and not once but twice. I’m still not sure what prompted that expression and contact, but…
Today the 37 bus driver paused in-between stopping marks on his regular route, pulled over in the middle of an empty bridge highway, and called me onto the bus. When I shifted my large linen bag of clean, wet laundry to the other shoulder in order to pull out my bus card, he waved it away and said, “No, no, this one’s for free.” “I have my card,” I stammered, “I’m only too happy to pay for the ride.” “No,” he insisted. “I know it’s cold out there. Let’s go!” I’m still not sure if he thought that I, dressed in an outlandish garb of bright yellow sweatpants, muted blue cardigan and striped purple scarf, was actually one of the wandering homeless population in the city — regardless. If that wasn’t a gift in the middle of a blustery, uncharacteristically chilly Texan day, I don’t know what is.
So there is every moment something that
moves one intensely…
This is not a thing that I have sought,
But it has come across my path and
I have seized it.
— Annie Dillard