Mostly, I just believe that I’m never going to stop learning what it is I believe.
It will always be your name.
Sometimes they change for the better.
Sometimes they change for the worse.
Either way, it’s always a choice.
We just did and it was an AMAZING experience. At least for me it was.
The traveler wouldn’t take the drinks or food we bought him. Wouldn’t accept a ride to the next town over, a short break in the air conditioned vehicle or EVEN THE CASH IN MY HAND!
He sincerely and simply thanked me with:
"So many thousands of thanks to you, you tender woman, for your generous and kind heart but I have all I can carry today. I am not in duress. There is a way I can take to get where I am going but it is not you."
You could have knocked me over with a feather.
And off he goes…
And in 3 minutes or less, I am changed.
How ridiculous of me to think that I always have something to offer everyone I encounter. How arrogant of me to assume that I can always be of service. How narrow of me to have walked into that situation thinking that I could be a light.
HE was the light.
And after J dropped me off at home I felt overwhelmed with a want to go and find him on the road again and get to know him. I am so intrigued by this man and have so many questions for him! And yet, I know that he has no answers for me. Only answer for himself. I want to know his name and yet I know that what we call one another matters not and that when I whisper words of hope for him on the wind it is known by the Universe whose soul and spirit I am hoping for.
I know in my own soul that is the job of each of us to ask the hard, scary, complicated questions of ourselves and the world around us to seek out the answers even if that seeking leads us to the middle of Route 66 on a triple digit degree day.
He did not take from us what he did not need and yet still accepted our kindness in a very clear, real way. May his journey be all that he needs and may everyone who stops to assist him in it come away as enlightened and enriched by the experience as I have been this day.
I had my holy moment for today on the side of the road on Route 66 and a world weary traveler in need of a shave and shower was my preacher. And no crosses, steeples, collection plates, fancy dresses, uncomfortable shoes or sermons necessary.
Just another Sunday in MY South.
Consciously making this way of thinking a habit has changed my life.
—Joyce Carol Oates, “Notes on Failure”