Sometimes, life feels like walking anonymous.
Sitting in theater darkness, delighting in Cait with a C (of Not the “Royal Kate,” She’s “Cait with a C” – Part One), ballroom-dancing in Jane Eyre the Musical one night. Then… as if no time has passed…dreaming to classical scores of beauty and her sister, Maggie (of Small Beginnings), in medal-winning orchestra the next morning.
Just now I’m returning from a wonderful Sunday service, where speaker Marilyn Hickey – there in person – leaves me cosseted in joy from His presence in it all.
Moment slips into moment and I’m here one minute, there the next, and days are just going, going…
Drive here and there, stop at a store, sift through my mental lists. Pick up bell peppers. Do they have fresh tarragon today? Reach for my weekly sourdough round spiced with olive oil and rosemary… mmm, still snug-warm-from-the-oven… move on down to the bakery counter for slicing.
She catches my eye, quickly cleans her hands, slips on plastic gloves to take the bread from mine.
“I was going to try and save you one,” she offers softly, shyly, “because we didn’t get that many baked today and I was worried they’d all be gone….”
I smile back, suddenly warmed because this woman I don’t even know expects me. She’s noticed my favorite home-style baked loaf, and more than that… she was thinking of me in her morning work, wanting to make sure I would have what I hoped for there.
“I wasn’t even sure I’d come today,” I answer, really thinking, but not saying – how could she expect me when I don’t always come on the same day?
She nods. Says, “The snow is hitting hard today, so I wondered if you’d want to come out too… guess all this great weather had to break sometime,” then expounds on how their oven had broken down the day before and they’d had to throw out so many loaves of proofing dough because they’d sat there all day. “It was fixed just this morning, but we didn’t have much left in the freezer to bake…”
She pulls the slices from the machine and rewraps the package for me. I see a sort of comradely look in her eyes that shines Him to me, whether or not she knows. It’s amazing in our world these days to find strangers who are actually looking for you to show up.
And, I wonder how many people notice her. Extremely soft-spoken, busily doing her job, sort of nondescript looking… But of all those who have sliced these fresh loaves for me, she is the one who sees people, not numbers. She is the one who doesn’t seem perturbed at the request or interruption.
“Thank you!” I say warmly, as I take the bag from her. But really, I’m thinking what I don’t say. May His blessings enfold you this day, carry you safely home, open new doors of joy to you…
“Be careful if you do drive anywhere far today,” she exhorts genuinely, as we smile goodbye and separately walk away into the next moment…
And I feel His Heart “wink” upon us both… breaching anonymity… right there between the baked goods and the butter and eggs.
© Pam Depoyan