It was a long drive home. The heartfelt cries of Prayers silently reaching their way up to God, the shouts of Praise that stood out in the crowd. I enjoyed the display. It's not anywhere else I see anybody act like that, where people were so bold.
I lowered my eyes to the reflecting scenery in the passing window. I brought Glory to God, today. I went. It's one Sunday out of the week. Why not? I couldn't stop thinking about those cookies I was so close to making at home. It's going to be fabulous. Cookies, coke, and Charlie Chaplin comedies at Midnight. "Story of my life," I thought, "Almost. Just one day out of the week." Then I can curl up in bed, smile, and dream about falling in love for several hours. There I can plan out my whole romantic life in a melodramatic love story with a happy ending. Because everyone falls in love except the ones who seem to want it the most, though I'm not shouting it the rooftops. I'm kinda used to the ideal. What you want the most is the longest and hardest to get. Cookies are easy, and they only take about a half hour to enjoy.
My ears perked up and I smiled. Frank put 'On The Boardwalk' on the radio. It's so swanky and perky. Kinda makes me want to be on a hotel balcony, hold a glass of champagne, and utter the words 'You know what, I don't think I'll go to the meeting after all.' Right before I wake up to my alarm clock and have to work. Frank pulled up to my house with a soft creep of the tires against the road. I imagine a person might say let's' go but I didn't feel like going. I wanted to stay and listen to the song as it was ending.
"Frank, are we there yet?" I cheekily grinned.
"Yes, miss," He said.
He didn't fail to make me laugh by ignoring my lame jokes. And I don't think he minded not laughing at them. He left the car and same around to my side, peering into the passenger window for a moment with a charismatic smile before he opened the door. I grinned widely at him and patted his shoulder. "Thanks, again," I said.
He nodded as a hand tugged on the hem of my dress. I slowly turned around, always slightly startled by being touched by strangers. I said, "Hi." The old man pushed her gray hair behind her ears, still clutching her tiny pink purse closely to her chest with another hand. She gave me a single nod and smiled.
I asked, "Can I help you?"
"Yes," She said.
"Has anyone ever told you God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life?" There's something I don't get asked everyday. I mean, as a kid, I got my Jehovah's Witnesses, but outside of that and Church I hadn't been asked about God at all. Not that I mind. I caught my awkward silence.
"Yes, yes. I think I've heard that," I politely smiled, some part of me wanted to run inside after narrowing the size of this conversation so I can start my cookies, "Cookies!" I said. I reached into the back seat and pulled out the ingredients for the cookies.
She said, "Have you accepted Jesus in your heart as Lord and Savior?" Yet another question I didn't expect to be asked today.
She continued, "You must do it at once."
"Okay," So I just say 'I do' and that's it, right?
"Heavenly Father, forgive my sin. I believe Jesus Died on the Cross, I believe He Rose from the Dead, I believe He is Coming back again. I confess him as my Lord and Personal Savior, I believe, I've been Saved and going to Heaven. In Jesus Name, Amen!
repeated after her and finished my 'Amen' with a nervous sigh. Hey, even Frank repeated it behind me so that helped. I fervently shook her hand and smiled widely.
I said, "So, um..thanks. It was nice meeting you miss..."
"Just a sister."
"Right," I gave her the awkward look I couldn't hide because now I couldn't think of anything else to say to her. I gave her a shifty hug and quickly pulled myself away from her, happily dancing up my townhouse steps and eager to get inside.
I reached up and tried to grab my spare key from the top of the door. In that moment of all moments, my paper shopping bag ripped and all of my ingredients bounced down the steps. "Great," I quietly gritted my teeth and grabbed my spare key. I gritted them more as I fussed with the lock, not noticing that someone was taking a few steps behind me.
I whipped around, letting my hair fly over my face.
I said, "Frank?" No. It was the old lately, straining her back while she picked up the groceries from the concrete. Now, I get the guilt. I quickly stopped down and helped her gather the ingredients from the ground. She made me feel a lot better, almost like she was some sort of angel.
"Lord, have Mercy." I said, a bit of my southern accent slipped out and I blushed bashfully.
"Yes, dear," She said, handing me the brown sugar which went on top of the pile taking up both of my youthful arms. She grinned wider, bearing a toothless and innocent smile that all the wrinkles in the world couldn't hide.
She said, "You're an angel, " I gave her another awkward nod, only much more gracious than before, and turned back to my door. I should have invited her in but I wasn't looking for company tonight, ever, really. It was a short and careful walk back to the tiny porch, with my little wooden porch swing and cheesy potted plants from a local market.