I was out shopping today, during my thing, minding my own business when I turn a corner and came upon this woman and a clerk. The woman was not old, perhaps about thirty, dressed in a dress that came to her ankles and a blouse that cover her arms and neckline. She looked the part of a good church going sister with a bible in toe. She was about the same size as the young athletic man, who looked to be about twenty-two in his store uniform. She was talking to the young man about, what I guess, the price of a piece of equipment that the store ran in the Sunday paper. Although I couldn’t hear their conversation, as I approach the couple I felt tension immediately from the woman.
Now, as the woman spoke she wasn’t rude nor was she raising her voice but I knew, by the Spirit that lives in everything, that she was being hostile. Her mannerism was calm her demeanor pleasant but she was definitely hostile. I could tell the young man was trying to remain calm, trying to appease the woman, but she was demanding. The closer I got the more of the conversation I could hear.
“ Well, GOD BLES YOU!” She said as she huffed away.
I looked at the young man’s face and could tell he felt like the woman had just threw profanities at him. I felt it too. It lingered in the atmosphere like thick syrup weighing heavily down on us.
With all her Holy Roller attire she was just as street, as any thug. The Spirit of those words flung out in bitterness still cut.
In contrast, I like to walk around my neighborhood on sunny days. There is a walking park near my apartment so I don’t have to go far to get my Sun on, so to speak. This one day I was walking to the park when I came upon a homeless man. I wasn’t afraid, but I was leery of him. He was this big black man overly dressed for the hot summer sun. He pushed one of those shopping carts around full of his things. I had seen this man before near the area of the overpass whenever I drove home, but never walking the streets by myself. I didn’t cross the street or anything like that; homeless people never scared me so I continue my trek to the park. We were within a few feet of one another when he looked into my eyes and spoke. “ Hello.”
I looked back at him. “ Hi.”
“ If you don’t mine ma’am.” He asks me if I had any change slightly embarrassed.
“No sir.” I said regrettably because I almost always carry some change with me.
He nodded to me with a half smile. I felt in my Spirit that I should have given him something.
“Wait a minute.” Suddenly I found myself looking in my pack for some change or something I could give him. Upon seeing me search he said.
“That’s alright ma’am. Most people just ignore me, thank you for not during at least that.” He said and walked away with his possessions.
I wanted to cry. Not because people can be so cruel, but because His words of THANK YOU touch something deep within me. Something that simple, hit me so profoundly that I knew that something. No, someone else was standing there with us as tears coated my eyes.
My trek in the park was full of the joys of Spirit. In every tree and every blade of grass, in the animals and the blue sky I saw Spirit. In given words of thanks that homeless man had given me something much more. JOY
The Spirit of our Words is a powerful thing.