It was last Thursday about noon I walked down to the Dillons on Douglass to get a salad to bring back to the office for lunch. I picked up one of the plastic containers and began with the normal salad fixings; lettuce, some tomato, sliced bell pepper, etc. I moved along the salad island almost by myself until I rounded the corner and started on the other side.
She was a rather unassuming presence, seemingly trying to decide what it was she wanted to put in the plastic tray she held in her hand. She had a stocking cap pulled tight on her head, at least two or three layers under the well-weathered over coat she wore, shoes that were untied, and a blue scarf draped around her neck. I stood patiently beside her as she worked her way down the side as well.
Suddenly she looked at me and said, “I’m sorry I will get out of your way, I won’t touch you, I know I look a mess.” She caught me off guard, I found myself a bit at a loss for words, if you can imagine that. Not thinking I reached out my hand as if to touch her on the shoulder to reassure her I was in no hurry and said, “You’re fine, take your time.” She recoiled at the gesture and simply said, “I’ll move.”
She did move on down the side of the island from me and continued selecting the items she wanted. I finished filling my container, snapped it shut, and started to the cashier to pay for my lunch. I stepped around to the other side of the island where the lady had retreated to; others surrounded her now on both sides. I caught her eye and she looked at me again with suspicion and distrust. I said, “You have a good day.” One eye squeezed down in a squint but the other eye looked right into my soul it seemed. She closed the lid on her container, stepped away from the island, all the while looking at me, and in a gravelly voice she said, “I will you know, I will. Thank you.” and she disappeared around the end of the aisle.
I pondered, as I walked back to the church …the face of the Divine that day at the salad bar in Dillons…I wonder.
It is one of the many ways we seek to be faithful to the Spirit and one another here at the Hill, where you are one of the family. Here where there is always an open door, a safe space, a warm welcome, and a place at the table.