Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Favorite Bagger

I love a small town, and I particularly love the daytime bagger at my local grocers. He always insists on helping me outside with my groceries, and some days he adds a little off color joke to the mix. Sometimes they are off color in a way that gets my blood flowing and upset, but I love Mr Larry. I love him. He's gentle and funny, and reminds me of Jimmy Durante. He is light hearted and full of mischievous smiles.

Well, today, I just happened to have extra time waiting for something. I turned to Larry and said how are you today Mr Larry? His jovial smile was gone, he turned to me and said, "sad, I lost my wife two weeks ago, and I'm terribly lonely. I know she's better now, but I miss her."

I gathered my groceries, said a prayer, and left. My heart ached for Mr Larry, but I was also struck by something. His frank venerability. He didn't wait a year to show me his heart, I didn't have to go through a battery of trust tests to learn his grief, he simply gave me the gift of his hurt. I felt extremely grateful.

Some people are so hard edged and mistrusting. I understand, I struggle wanting to be that way, but the gift of transparent living is just that living. I feel more connected to Larry, more curious about his heart, at the ready to be praying for him. Why? Because he showed himself. He was venerable. What a precious gift given to a stranger.

Why fake happy when we face hurts of a thousand kinds? Why not love your nearest neighbor enough to speak from your heart?

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A place to find encouragement to love your little ones, your husbands and those you come in contact with daily. Two does not have to be terrible. These are years to grow not simply get through!