Wisdom in My Pocket

A funny thing happened on the way home from church, of all places. Well it’s not that funny, its more like pathetic, especially for a 59 year old woman who also happens to be a perfectionist.

I was driving home from church just humming along at 130 k/hr in a 100k/hr zone, feeling on top of the world from the wonderful service I had just attended. We had renewed our baptismal vows and afterwards each person dipped their hand into the fount to pull out a stone with a motivating word on it. This was to be a reminder of our baptism and what it represents.

Etched on my stone was the word WISDOM.

Fitting, I thought, since I am usually such a serious person who tries to always do the right thing.
I was thinking of that when I glanced in the rear view mirror to see flashing lights. I figured I’d better slow down to let the police pass quickly to get to whatever they were racing towards.
I slowed down.
The police slowed down.
I sped up.
The police sped up.

And that’s when I realized that it was moi they were after. I pulled off on an exit ramp and waited for what I thought was the longest minute of my life.

It wasn’t.

The young policeman cited me for going 120 k/hr in a 100 k/hr zone.
I said I was sorry, thinking that his radar gun must  have been broken because I was definitely going 130 k/hr.
He asked me why I didn’t stop sooner, and I told him I thought he was going to something very important and that there was plenty of room on the highway for him to get around me.
Wrong answer I guess.
He told me that you are supposed to pull over ANY time you see flashing lights.
I said I was sorry.
And then he went back to his cruiser and ‘wrote me up’.

Those were the longest twenty minutes of my life.

As I sat there on the exit ramp, all the other good people coming home from church could see me, plain as day, with the police cruiser right behind me. So whenever I saw a car coming, I turned my head, searching in the forest for nothing, just so as to not be recognized.

How utterly humiliating.

Finally he came back and handed me a ticket  for 224$.

Now where in the heck am I going to get 224$ to pay this?
Didn’t he know that I had spent all my spare money on the January sales?

I meekly drove the rest of the way home, fingering the stone in my pocket.

Wisdom, indeed.

I’m So Glad You Came!

I hadn’t seen my old friend Gert since 2009, the year her husband died.  I got married at the end of that year and moved to Nova Scotia not long afterwards. I have returned to Montreal a few times since then but on each visit the time passed so quickly that I never made the effort to get out to see her, a fact that made both of us a little sad.

So I hadn’t seen her in more than three years.

Dave and I decided to make a quick trip to Quebec at the beginning of the summer and I emailed Gert that we would be coming out to visit her. I’m sure that her life has been difficult and lonely since 2009, and combined with physical ailments, I hoped that she would welcome a visit from me.

Well.

Never underestimate the value of offering yourself to someone else…

She greeted us; cat Micah in arms, with the biggest smile on her face and hugs so big the poor cat almost got squashed in all the hugging. Then we sat down in old familiar chairs in the kitchen and started to talk about what we each were up to, we reminisced about old times and we brought each other up to date with our respective children.

She told me about her upcoming trip to Newfoundland to see her family.

I told her about my plans to have a picnic in the lavender fields outside town.

She told me about her ailments, but what was the point in complaining about them because no one wants to hear about it.

I told her what a hard time I had adjusting to life in rural Nova Scotia, but that everything was fine now.

All too soon our time was up and we were once again at the door, saying goodbye, come again, keep in touch, don’t be a stranger…

And I was left with the image of my old friend Gert standing in the doorway, Micah in arms, with a smile so big her face was glowing as she said, “Chris, I’m so glad you came!”

Sometimes we don’t stop to think that someone out there might be tickled pink to hear from us. We are so busy with our lives that we think everyone else is busy with their lives as well.

I called an old friend not too long ago; we hadn’t talked in well over a year. We went on chatting for quite awhile, each of us just so happy to connect again. And when it was time to hang up, she said to me, “Chris, I’m so glad you called!”

Wow! It didn’t take much effort on my part but it sure felt good afterwards. I had felt little promptings from God to reach out and I finally did it.

They say that the love transformation happens when we offer ourselves. In so doing we not only brighten up another person’s day, but we receive from them also.

And in those every day things, holiness happens:

Joy, Happiness, Peace, Gladness

                    Try it; you’ll be amazed.

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