So my friend Kathy, is going through chemo. She is a total badass at kicking cancer’s butt. I get to sit with her during some of her treatments and I was there for some today.
Woo. The oncology center was busy. I thought perhaps because tomorrow is a holiday and they are closed it added to the usual busy-ness because it seemed extra crowded. I actually arrived before K did because she got caught at work for a bit. You read that right. She came to her treatment from work. Drove herself. She’s pretty amazing.
Anyway, I got there first so I just sat down to wait for her and I pulled out my yarn and crochet hook and got started on a scarf. In just a minute an interesting fellow sat down in one of the few remaining seats close to me. We smiled at each other- you know how you do in public like that.
He asked me how I was doing and I told him I was doing alright and I asked how he was. He didn’t say anything, but he smiled and nodded.
Now this fellow was interesting to me for a couple of reasons. One, he was maybe in his 70s I would guess, although it can be really hard for me to tell how old people are, and he was dressed in bright colors, in sort of tropical attire. He was a black man, and had this great white hair in a short afro and a wild white beard. He put me in mind of kind of an island Santa. He had a great smile too. And then the next thing he said to me was (I’m not kidding…) “Are you being good?” Dude! I was already thinking about Santa and then you ask that!?
I told him I was trying my best to be good. He said, “Well I see you are working on something.” Indicating the scarf.
Okay. Second reason I found him so interesting was that this wasn’t the usual small talk you know? I told him I was making a scarf and he told me he liked the yellow color I was using. Then he looked at me very seriously and said, “God is with you right now.”
I teared up a little you know? I mean, I KNOW God is always with us, but just to hear it put so simply and matter-of-factly was really touching. I nodded yes. He nodded yes and then K showed up and his friend showed up and we each started talking to our respective friends. We didn’t have anymore conversation with each other.
It was just one of those interactions that stayed with me. Just a little out of the ordinary. Not like, weird or anything, but unique.
When K and I got back into the infusion room we were talking with her nurse all about our girls beach trip. Four of us who have been friends for over forty years went to Destin and spent time with each other and the sea. It was the first trip we had all been on together and we had so much fun. We celebrated our long friendship- it's such a gift- and had these long conversations over coffee or wine, and remembered old times and made new memories. Some healing took place. We ate too much, We got sunburned. We laughed until we cried. And I’m just so glad we went. All the fun, fizzy, sandy memories of the trip bubbled up again.
God was certainly with us at the sea and in the infusion room too.
Coming back from our trip through airport security I got a pat down and hand swab. I usually get the pat down. I got one when we left out for vacation too. Kathy commented on it to me and I told her it usually happens. She said, “You are the least threatening looking person I saw. You even had on a Free Mom Hugs t-shirt.” Laughing I told her, “Maybe they think I am in disguise.”
God is even with us in the TSA line.
Now back at home reflecting on the day, the conversation from the waiting room comes back to me. Such a few simple words but, I wondered would I say that to someone? I believe it. But I don’t know that in my whole life I have ever just simply said to a stranger, for no apparent reason, “God is with you.” It was quiet and short and simple but I think that is just a disguise.
What powerful words that simple reminder can be. Sure, God can show off. He can be flashy if He wants to be. He can send us signs and wonders.
Or. He can send us a calm, smiling stranger who with no fuss and no fanfare, just quietly reminds us He is there.
I’m so glad.
So I’m here to tell you, where ever you are right now, God is with you too.
Happy birthday Courtney!
10 down 8 to go Kathy- you got this!!
Thanks for reading.