She’s a little old widow, and I used to see her every day when she came for milk and bread, walking from her house around the corner. Now she lives in town, and it’s probably been a year since I’d last seen her. She looked well, but sad, and in her own world. Was she too old and forgetful to remember me anymore? “Carol!” I said. “I haven’t seen you for ages! I have to give you a hug!”*
I rushed around the counter to her, and as I held her for a quick moment, she murmured against my shoulder, “Oh, I love a hug!”
Then we chatted quickly, because there were other customers waiting, and as she went out the door, she said, “And thanks for the cuddle!”
Oh, Carol, that was the easiest thing I’d done all day.
Later, I was watering the flowers outside and Tony, an older gentleman, a family friend, came up and chatted and told me crazy stories like he always does, and made me laugh and laugh.* Just before he left, his voice softened and he told me of his sixty-eight year old brother who’s an alcoholic and not been well for years. And now the brother met a twenty-five year old girl in the far East, and he’s dead set on going to see her, and Tony is worried for the brother and himself, because there’s substantial money and risk somewhere in there.
Tony loves to share his sail boat with his friends, and promised he’d be in touch later in the summer. “When I get the mast back on her, we’ll take her on a spin to the next harbour,” he said.
Listening to his stories, crazy and sad ones, in exchange for a ride on a sail boat? An easy trade, I’d say.
Shop keeping isn’t always that delightful, but these two people came in on the same day this week, and made me smile and made my job easier.
A line from Philip Yancey’s Disappointment with God often inspires/paralyzes/convicts me. It is when he’s talking about his friend who wants to see God, and asks for visible proof that God is there. Philip says his friend will likely never see God’s hand writing in the sky, or some other dramatic move. He will only see me, Philip says.
How can it be, that the infinite God allows fallible earthlings to tell each other that He exists, that He’s not a figment of imagination, that He is the giver of good things? I wonder if Carol and Tony know that God is real, and that I love Him. They will probably never hear His voice thunder from a cloud. They will only see me.
This is why there is dignity and purpose in being a store keeper.
*Names have been changed.
4 thoughts on “A Day in the Life”
Great post, Anita. This simple yet profound truth is one of my favorite to ponder. The absurdity of it captivates me. We are the most unlike God in our deceitful hearts; yet as His redeemed children, we have been given the resources to demonstrate His love and holiness to everyone we encounter. He DOES use us; and it is amazing. Just amazing.
You are a reflection of Him… bless you!
Thank-you for saying that. It makes me lift my head with satisfaction that I’m going to be “promoted” to store keeper next week. 🙂
This touched my heart in ways I don’t understand yet. It just dug in deep and stayed there. Clearly God has something to say to me about this. THANK YOU Anita for letting God speak through you. He shines from you.
Anita, I enjoyed hearing your story about life as a shop keeper. You know your /our work is important even tho it may seem menial at times. You may be the only “God” some people meet. This is a reminder to me to be spontaneous / the hug / and to listen to the needs of others and reach out to them. I could use one of your hugs right now. 🙂 Miss you…Loretta