In a normal day it is not uncommon for me to cry several times.
Tears will slip out when I am talking or thinking or praying.
I rely on family and friends to regularly point to the corner of their eye as a tip that I have smears of mascara that need tending.
Yesterday I shed tears twice for people I don’t know at all.
The last time was just before we headed to bed as I cried for parents who were frantically waiting for news on the fate of a child outside a concert hall in Manchester, England and for first responders who had to hold it together as they did what they do in the mayhem.
I shed tears for the deception that leads someone to take his own life so that he can take out as many strangers as he possibly can.
I shed tears for a world system that keeps thinking somehow if we all just agree to disagree we can end the bloodshed and the confusion that comes when we all do what is right in our own sight, refusing to believe there is anything called Absolute Truth.
And I realize that’s a lot of thoughts swirling around the chaos that has become so much of our daily diet thanks to the internet and 24 hour news programming.
We can get so overwhelmed that we shut down.
So let me share the other thing that caused my heart to lump in my throat and generated some gentle tears at work.
Around lunch time a couple came in the store that I see from time to time.
I don’t know factually, but I assume they are husband and wife.
She walks slowly with one of those four-pronged canes. He gently holds the back of her jacket…just enough to steer her and keep her upright without her knowing it.
She’s a shopper and I totally get her.
As she gazes over each display, something will catch her eye and she will reach for it.
If she lingers more than a few seconds with it, he will gently ask her if she likes it…does she want it?
He will use his free hand to hold it for her and when he gets her to a place where she is holding steady, carries them to the counter and starts their pile.
I don’t like interfering with this tender dance they have going.
But as they move farther from the counter area; I begin to become the runner for him.
When she has covered the whole store, he asks her if she is sure she is finished. Is there anyone she is forgetting?
He will suggest some upcoming birthdays and events and when she’s sure she is done, they come to the counter.
I ring it up and he pulls out his wallet.
He never asks why she wants this or that.
He never makes a joke about her spending too much or the cash he is doling out.
He simply attends her shopping.
He lovingly takes her arm and the bag and he always says they will see me in a year…to which she says she hopes it’s sooner than that.
It will be.
Even now my throat is tightening and tears sting.
While I can pray for anyone in the whole wide world, I can’t do a thing today to offer comfort or support or love to the wounded around this globe.
But I can love the people I will come in contact with today.
I can extend a gracious patience with them.
I can be tender towards them and wait on them…and I don’t mean wait for them to do for me….I mean serve them..attend them…be attentive to them.
Not just for them…but because the world will see and know Christ by the way we love one another <3