"Do now, do now, what you will wish to have done when your moment comes to die." [St. Angela Merici]

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

A Gaze, A Moment

By Micky Wolf

The day was sultry, the sun bright and intense.  I wasn’t rushing about, but intentionally working my way through a small to do list.

Approaching the main entrance to the church, the slow-moving figure of a woman emerged from the building. Leaning on her walker, it was clear she had long ago learned how to use her wheeled helper with grace and precision to open doors, without being hindered in the process.

Yes, I’m one of those folks who will usually offer a greeting or a smile to passers-by or while waiting in line, whether I know them or not.

However, almost before I could open my mouth she glanced in my direction, moving closer to the handicap accessible ramp section of the cement curb.

“Morning,” she said, a big smile crossing her face.

“Good morning to you!” I responded. “Sure is a hot one today, eh?”

“Oh my, yes, for sure.” She had some of the most beautiful blue eyes I had ever seen, laugh lines squiggled at the corners. Neatly styled short, straight, white wisps of hair framed her face.

“Some people love this weather.” By now both of us had paused, a couple of feet apart. “Me, I prefer the seventies and low humidity.”

“Amen! Me too!”

Her smile broadened, if that was possible. An angel in disguise? Surely someone’s wife, mother, or grandmother. Maybe a sister or an aunt. It didn’t matter. In the midst of her focused effort to keep moving with a body that gave silent witness to the wear and tear of the years, she seemed oblivious to anything—but me.

“You have a wonderful day,” I said, oddly reluctant to move.

“And you too!”

Passing through the doors into the church I turned for another glance. She was gone. Vanished.

Not sure why this encounter has left a lasting impression. I can still see her face, her smile, the lovely white hair, the walker. 

What I do know is there is no need for an explanation or answer.

What I do know is God often chooses to manifest His presence in the most unlikely ways, at the most unexpected times.

And that, fellow sojourner, is the way He would have it to be, for each of us, every day.


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