diner divinations

July 30, 2008

We celebrated my uncle’s wedding this past weekend at a deli near their home and, while there, I had an odd encounter:
As we walked from our table to the salad bar a man approached me and asked if he knew me from somewhere. Before you suspect stereotypical “approaches,” I should reassure you that this particular man was an smartly dressed elderly gentleman. He was clearly trying to rack his brain for the source of the acquaintance as he looked up at me with a kind expression of inquiry. I couldn’t help but wonder at his height, since my barely 5’6” frame seemed to tower over him at the time.
At any rate, after a few minutes of conversation as to possible acquaintance sources, we figured out that he had been one of the 140-odd residents at the facility where I was a social worker last year. He was not one of the ones I had regular interactions with–if we spoke at all, it was merely a passing greeting.
So I was surprised when he looked at me more reflectively and commented, “You love the Lord, don’t you? I can tell.”
Frankly, I was more touched by this comment that I would have expected, and I told him as much.
Then he began a strange sort of oracle. Or maybe it was an exhortation . . . I’m not quite sure. What he said was:
“You don’t feel like you can make a difference in the world. Not as much as you want to. But you can. You do. And you will. Just wait, and see what the rest of this year will bring.”
Then he bid me farewell. I stood there and tried to hold back my tears. In this “transitional” period of life, I was hungry for such affirmation of my purpose. And I was, and am, intrigued at the meaning of such an odd interaction, at what the future might hold . . .

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