Five weeks ago, though, I felt like I was pulled out of the quicksand and set on solid ground. Since then, I cannot leave the house without wonderful, glorious things happening to me. I'm used to scouring my circumstances for the little gifts I'd normally overlook, but these days, the grace pours in and it's hard to miss. For a season, I'm not having to search for the gifts. They're flashing neon signs declaring a new season of life. I don't understand why there's been a sudden shift in my circumstances except that God is graciously giving me a season of consolation, after such a trying season of darkness.
Take yesterday, for instance. Yesterday I was over the moon, basking in the vocational, educational, recreational and relational provisions of the last several weeks. I thought my week couldn't get any better. But then I headed down the street to Trader Joe's, and it did.
I wanted orange gerbera daisies for my apartment. Orange feels so autumnal, and it's dipped into the 80's down here, which means fall is in the air. Ha. So I selected the mother of all bouquets, along with snacks for the week, and headed to the checkout stand.
But wait! "One of these daisies has snapped off," I mused to the cashier. "I think I'll get another bouquet." So I selected a nice yellow bouquet — pretty, but not as autumnal as my orange bouquet — and returned to the cashier. And lo and behold, as I went to pay, she put the orange gerbera daisies in my cart, alongside my yellow bouquet, as a gift to brighten my Saturday. Delight of delights!
And then, as I went to load my groceries in the car, a Trader Joe's employee motioned from across the parking lot that I should stop loading, and ran over. I've never heard this man talk before, and I think he may be deaf. So he used sign language to indicate that he'd load my groceries for me. And you guys. He is beautiful. He is an older African American with ebony skin and blue eyes — we're talking Crater Lake blue. They're dazzling and full of compassion.
Isn't it nice when beautiful people turn out to be beautiful on the inside, too?
Minutes later, I drove home happily with a car seat full of autumn.
On a side note: do you carry loads of hand sanitizer with you the way I do?
I have three bottles of hand sanitizer in my car. Two of these are approximately the size of baby dolphins. Clean hands are my jam, man. Also, I am a Jackson, and we love hand sanitizer.
When I got home, I splashed autumn across my "almost aqua" kitchen wall.
I put a little bit of autumn under the far window, too.
Did you notice my baby cactus?
© by scj
Crater lake image credit: craterlakeoregon.org