Had a couple interesting interactions this week and always enjoy small connections with others.
While at the pharmacy to pick up a prescription, I asked for my free Covid test kits (covered by Medicare). Because the pharmacist wasn’t there, I wasn’t able to get those that day, which meant a return trip.
At the cashier to my right, an older Indian gentleman asked for something (I didn’t hear whether it was the same as I had asked or something else). The young man explained to him, as he had to me, that he couldn’t release that without the pharmacist’s sign-off, and she was out to lunch. The man would have to come back.
“But I’m in front of you now.”
I got such a chuckle out of his straightforward response–not a typical American way of phrasing his thought, but the man’s point was very clear. I leaned over and said “I can’t get mine either. I have to come back too.”
The gentleman looked at me and said, “OK, I’ll come back.”
Then I stopped at Lucky’s to pick up bananas. I had only a few items, but hadn’t thought to use a cart or basket. So I stood in line for the self service checkout with my purchases in my arms. One of the boxed items fell to the floor. An African American gentleman quickly picked it up and returned it to me.
“Thank you so much.” I smiled at him. “I would have dropped everything if I’d tried to pick that up.”
“You’re welcome. It happens to all of us.”
And when at dinner with my brother, sister-in-law, their daughter, her husband and their son, three-year old Titus looked me in the eye.
“Why are your eyes red?”
I had to think. “I guess because I’m tired.”
Then I looked at his child eyes – no red lines, no reddened inner corners – except for the iris and pupil themselves, his eyes are pure white!
Maybe I haven’t been around enough three-year-olds recently, but I was amazed at Titus’ attention to detail.
Why is it that these tiny interactions stay with us? I think it’s a combination of kindness, and simple human connection. After having worn masks for two years, we’re looking each other in the eye again. Yippee!
Then I drive and get so busy talking or ruminating about something that my dear husband will say “Uh, I think you need to get over for the next exit.” What would I do without him by my side!
Somehow these connections energize me. We’re created by God to be in community. Pastor Jeremiah Johnston said isolation is the worst punishment for a human being. These last two weekends Don and I have “attended” church online. The sermons have been wonderfully challenging, the music uplifting, and I’m grateful for technology that allows us to be a part of the services from a distance. But there is nothing like being present in person, connecting with others of like mind and spirit, worshipping God together.
And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.Hebrews 10:24-25
We need each other. Those in our family, our faith community, our neighbors, and those we meet in kindness in everyday life. These last two years have been very difficult emotionally. Suicide rates were up, especially among teenagers. Depression has increased. I encourage you to be in groups in whatever ways you feel comfortable – perhaps sitting outdoors for a church service; meeting friends for a meal outside; or finding another way to be with others, especially those you love and who love you. Let us follow the instruction in Hebrews to encourage one another, to be together again, to reject isolation and welcome community!