Saturday, July 08, 2006

midnight discoveries

I recently had an experience I thought I would share. Mike and I have been in Indiana for his best friend Seth's wedding where Mike was the best man. I've known Seth and his family for as long as I've known Mike (since I was around 14 or 15), so it was definitely a joy to be able to help them celebrate. But despite the happiness that surrounds a soon-to-be-married couple, stress shows up to have its say in the matter. I know everybody knows what I'm talking about, right?

So anyway, I'm going throughout the days leading up to the wedding glad to be able to help Laura when I could (that's Seth's now-wife), feeling lonely at times (Mike was busy doing best man/groom things most of the time), and just plain emotional, because I'm tired from traveling, and stressed about the upcoming month in general (directly after the wedding we flew to Denver for work, then came back home where we will be packing up, going to another wedding, and moving to NC). Well its a wedding. Do I really need an excuse to feel emotional?

As we were wrapping up a dinner/chill time with the rest of the Irby family, we stopped on the way home to a local grocery store for some toiletries. It's around 11:30 or midnight, and as aforementioned, I am tired and a little cranky. The last place I want to be is stopping at a grocery store.

The cashier that rung us up was a girl who at first glance I took to be in her late thirties. The store was empty, and there's just something about a lone girl at a cash register late at night that makes me sad. I felt rough, but she seemed to be feeling even worse. When I looked closer I noticed that her skin wasn't lined with any telltale wrinkles and her long, blond, ponytail-ed hair was free of gray strands. When I really look I see that she is young, perhaps my age, or younger.

Something tells me to ask her how she's doing. She told Taylor (Irby clan) and I that her day wasn't going that well--her boyfriend seemed to be on his way to Iraq, and to top it all off, her knees hurt. I felt something in my spirit quicken. Pray for her. I tried to shrug off the feeling. Wouldn't she think I was crazy if I asked her if I could pray for her?

Taylor and I almost get out the door when we turn to each other. "Do you think we should pray for her?" she asked me.

"I got the same feeling," I told her. "Will she think we're crazy though?" (As you can tell, I am not in the habit of doing this sort of thing)

"What can it hurt?"

So, Taylor and I turned back around and sheepishly asked the cashier if we could pray for her. She agreed, and to my surprise, she started to cry.

"This really meant a lot to me," she mumbled through her tears. Thank you," she whispered when we were finished.

I wish we could've had time to talk to her some more and find out her story and just listen. But I think it was important that we saw this girl, I mean really SAW her, looked at her, and cared.

I'm just thankful that I had a sister with me who helped "validate," if you will, what I knew in my spirit. If not for her, I don't think I would've gone back.

Sorry to get sentimental on you, but here's to the two or more gathered in his the Lord's binding ties of love.


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