I went to Target today. To get TWO things. Neither of them were clothing items. I've been striving to simplify my life and needed to make sure that I did NOT get clothes.....but the craziest thing happened: as the sliding doors opened, somebody grabbed me, picked me up, and threw me clear across the store to the clothing department and I was like, "Hey! That was SUPER rude!" I kept yelling at them... ya know, saying how you can't just do stuff like that to people....(as I picked up some really cute pants and a few shirts.) I mean that's how it is right... you walk in with fierce resolve... and then "someone" screws it up... or you screw it up :-/ ....but I didn't! I didn't end up wasting money on clothes I don't need. I looked at the pile in my hand and thought, "what the crap am I doing!?" Absolutely nothing in my hand was a necessity (and sadly...I probably have similar varieties of all of it in my closet already) ...so I put every last item back.... and as I walked away, I gave a defiant look of strength to the sucker who had thrown me over there in the first place...
When I finally got the things I needed, on my way back up to the front of the store to pay, I fist bumped the clothes on the rack ...ya know, to show that we can be civil even if we can't be friends...
As I got in line, the Cashier was having a conversation with the Customer in front of me, which she then transferred to me. She was telling me that she'd always been a "Daddy's girl," but had lost her Father in 2003.... that he'd given her his car and now- every time she gets in it to go somewhere- she says, "Let's go for a drive Jack." Who was this woman who shared such pearls with passersby who, soon before this moment, had so shallowly been thinking only of clothing? Her vulnerability was refreshing and it warmed me. She had kind, sad eyes and I smiled at her and expressed my sorrow that she had lost her Daddy- to which she responded that her Mother had died of cancer and she had lost her sister too. Checkout was over. The next person had taken my place and was geared up and ready for transaction.....of money, not conversation... but the Cashier and I were still interacting and as I went to take the receipt, she placed her hand on mine and said, "Thank you honey." I felt helpless...and rushed. I felt sad that we are so often rushed out of connecting, even just for a few moments, with another human being. The truth? My people-pleasing of the hurried Customer behind me might have snuffed out a greater response... that the Cashier was worthy of. It's not like I even know what I should have or could have done differently, the moment just didn't feel adequate... and it just got me thinking. What are we in such a hurry for? What is more important than the moment we are in? Another thing about it hit me too... the ugly thought I had that the lady just might share this kind of thing with every customer. That maybe she is just, "needy." Maybe so....but who isn't? I just wonder how much of the rhythm of our day is created by our lack of ability to hear a different beat? Unfortunately, a lot of times, we tend to shame or ridicule those who march to the beat of a different drummer in life. Brave souls who would actually take a moment to engage with the homeless man... or sit and talk with the odd person on the bench at the park. I thought about how much of my energy is expended on the internal chaos that acts as a distraction to the beauty offered in the surrounding world.
Took a walk with Mom this evening. My lovely, steady, practical Momma (who I have never actually called, "Momma..." but it felt poetic in the sentence ;-) I've cherished the times with her- especially lately. If I haven't told you that out loud, Mom, I hope you read this and know it now. A bird flew in front of us and my Mom commented on how pretty it was. Normally, our walks aren't like this....normally Mom is staring at the concrete sidewalk and speed walking....while I use my breath to keep up and to remind her to slow the pace....about every five minutes :-) But today was a different walk and Mom noticed the bird. I told her about some specific people that I know who always just seem to take a moment to notice things...like birds. I told Mom about Janet- who goes with her husband yearly to upstate NY and they bird watch. She is a connoisseur... seriously. She knows every tweet distinctively and it always amazes me. She could have invented twitter... ;-)
My friend Kathy is also a moment snatcher. We will be walking along the canal trail and she will extend her arm in front of me, as to motion a pause- as she gets her phone's camera ready to capture something.... and then my eyes are opened to the flock of geese that are taking flight right before us by the hundreds it seems.... how could I have missed that before!? Or there are many times that she will stop, mid-sentence, to gush over a dog that's passing or to smell a daffodil. It never fails to bring dimples to my face :-) I adore that quality in people. As we walked this same trail, my friend Haley made a comment that, I think, sums up what snatching a moment has the ability to be. She was talking about all of the plants around us.... and how it was amazing what God created. When I looked around to see what she was specifically referring to, I noticed how they were so crowded and wildly reaching upward...in a manner of praise it seemed. The world is full of beauty because God is beautiful. We sometimes don't see the beauty in the world because we fail to take the moment. Maybe we miss it in Him too for the same reason?
Jesus was the ultimate moment snatcher....that's probably why I love it when I hear that note played in so many people that I know. I'm thankful for those who call attention to the precious things that surround us. It is an evident light of the God that's within us.....and greater is He.