Strangers in Fred Meyers

There are lots of things that people do which I don't understand. People I don't know talk to me. People I don't know tell me things. Hard things. Burdens.

I'm in Fred Meyer buying an ironing board, and a woman starts to laugh, halfway thru it turns into a sob and is quickly, abruptly aborted in a sort of soft bark. "Come to my house - I'll give you mine" She doesn't iron anymore - not since her husband divorced her, she did for a while after that - her son's church shirts - but he's not going to church anymore . . . "so come to my house - I'll give you mine" Maybe she's wandering around Fred Meyer cause it's more pleasent than being at a home that reminds her of everything. Maybe she goes there to forget - only to find that even a place as impersonal as a grocery store has it's reminders.

Maybe I hear what is not there, maybe I think to much, maybe I don't think enough . . . maybe I don't love enough. I wish I could carry their loads. I wish I was not the guy in Fred Meyer but the guy next door - the guy who knows how they like their burgers cooked and always has a beer in the fridge with their name on it, an hour to spare, and a couch to sit on. But maybe that is the purpose of strangers - to hear those things that you would not tell, could not tell anyone else.

I am glad that I am not a stranger to everyone.

1 comment:

  1. Did not Jesus Christ frequent the market place? Was He not a friend to strangers, those who feel alienated? Should we not extend ourselves in compassion... thought, word & actions to those we come alongside in the process of daily living... such a simple Truth but so hard to follow through ( 1 Peter, chapter 2 )