I should get out more

“Don’t you remember me?”

I needed a few things from the store for my afternoon session, and the day was long and bright, so I walked. In my collar, I notice people respond to me passing them by, for better or for worse. I smile, pass the time of day. Then someone stopped me short:

“Don’t you remember me?”

I took a second look. “I’m sorry,” I told them. “I know you look familiar, but you’ll have to remind me.”

“I stopped you in the supermarket parking lot …”

That was nearly a year ago. The weather was colder, the days shorter. There was a little rain in the air. A parishioner of mine was drawing circles on the striped lot with his bicycle, keeping an eye on our exchange until I sent him away, assuring him that all was well, that it was my habit and vocation to talk to strangers in the street. I remembered.

“How do I look to you now?” they asked me. That one was easy. “Well,” I said, “very well.”

“You saved my life,” they told me, “stopping to talk with me that day.”

I knew that they meant it kindly. I know that it’s dangerous flattery, that it taps into my temptation to hold the world together. I knew, too well, that it wasn’t true. I remembered that day. I had done nothing but stop, and pray.

But the Spirit of God, brooding from before creation, has a habit of hatching something out of nothing: like the absence of the right words on a cold day that renders each breath visible, writing on the air; like the blank space I wear around my neck, between my blood and the world.

This entry was posted in prayer, story and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s