Friday, September 25, 2020

"You got that right"

I took advantage of one of these last, lovely warm days (74ยบ) and slipped out for a quick, half hour morning walk. Just to the bank and to Target for a six pack of Dr. Pepper (my new drink of choice). On the way home, I was approached by a 60-something woman pulling a cart.

"Do you know where the pantry is?"

Yes indeed I do. And she was almost there. Only I didn't know how to give her directions because I stupidly never took note of the name of the church that is home to the food pantry.  There are four houses of worship almost symmetrically located on four corners. The food pantry is in the basement of the one directly across the street from my church.  And it is ... dunno.

So I offered to walk her over there. She said she would appreciate that. She was wearing a mask, even though we were walking up the street. But I could see she'd put on eye makeup. Her hair was done. She was better dressed than I. So I was worried about her dignity. She'd obviously never visited the food pantry before and I imagine it wasn't easy for her.

So I made conversation. I told her how, when my nephew was very young (or maybe it was my niece), he asked why, if there's one God, we need four different churches. I told her that my first reaction was, "Why doesn't he come up with these deep questions when he's with his mother?" She laughed and said, "You got that right."

Then she brought up the weather, saying it was "a good day for a walk." I told her I don't mind the cooler days we know are on the horizon, but my toes will miss breathing free. She laughed and said, "You got that right."

I wanted to hug her and tell her not to be nervous or embarrassed, we were almost there.  Instead, I suggested she take the el back from a different nearby stop because it has escalators and stairs would be hard with that cart. She laughed and said, "You got that right."

I hope I made her comfortable. There but for the grace of God go I. I mean it. Walking with her felt uniquely spiritual.

I took note: it's the Presbyterian church that gives the food pantry space in their basement.