Detour in Kindness

I have always loved hearing stories about my mom's childhood. She was such a precocious little girl as she loved nothing more than a good conversation. Even at the young age of five, she would plan her walking route to kindergarten so she could stop and talk to the firemen at the firehouse. Her social proclivities carried on into adulthood and she still seems to be able to strike up a conversation with anyone.

Even with such a great example of the art of conversation, I have fallen victim to the tragedy of my generation. A generation with access to unprecedented connection to each other, but remain anti-social and isolated as ever. Gone are the days of friendly chatting on the bus or in the checkout line. Now, if you are a stranger, that sort of conversation is considered an intrusion of personal space. I know this because I have felt that intrusion when approached in those situations.

Today was no different. Ethan and I headed out on our daily walk, but decided to take a longer route and make our local Walgreen's our destination so I could return a Redbox. As we finally rolled up to the door, we passed an elderly woman heading out. She smiled familiarly at me and commented on the gorgeous day {how Minnesotan?}. I murmured a quick response and kept rolling by, not giving our encounter a second thought.

We took a few minutes to return the DVD and I decided I needed to get back quickly for Ethan's afternoon nap. We power walked a block until I saw the same elderly lady lumbering down the walk in front of us. I immediately started weighing my options on how to get around her with my big stroller. Would I rumble through the grass around her? Would I wait until we were crossing the street and dart in front?

But as I watched her laboriously ambling home, I realized how ridiculous I was being. I was wasting so much thought on avoiding her, hoping she wouldn't talk to me again as I passed, when the solution was simple. Walk her home. Without giving myself time to justify inaction, I quickly caught up to her and asked if she would like to put her bag in the stroller and for me to walk her home.

Her name was Mary. She was carrying sugar to make a batch of sugar cookies from scratch. She kept calling me Molly, her neighbor across the street. She had had a brain embolism surgery last year that made her forget things. She had lived in Saint Paul for over forty years. Our little detour took only 10 minutes but it was by far the very best part of our walk. And I was disappointed we didn't have a few more blocks. As we parted, she thanked me for the walk and asked if I was in the phone book.

The rest of the way home, I reflected on what had just transpired. Something as simple as passing someone on the sidewalk convicted and humbled me. A Christian, I have a very lofty opinion of how I would act in any giving situation, but when put in those very situations, I fail miserably. Today was a startling reminder that I am a work in progress. Christ is still refining me. Without Him, I am a sinful, selfish, prideful woman satisfied in my depravity. The good news is my fallen state is not final. Christ will complete the work he started in me {Philippians 1:6}, I just need to be still and listen to His whisper whistling through the leaves.

Vi ses senare,

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