Today I’m praying for humility and faith.
Saturday mornings these days I go to the grocery stores when they open. I hit the one that opens at 6 and then the one that opens at 7. By 8 I am done just in time for the rest of my house to get moving.
A part of me does this to avoid crowds… But honestly, a bigger part of me does it for the quiet time. I love walking through the empty stores alone with my thoughts. And with the advent of masks and social distancing, it turns out it’s now totally acceptable to travel in public lost in my own world. I can even use the self checkout which means I can get through the store without acknowledging a soul! Score!
But then yesterday, at the self checkout, a sweet older employee struck up a conversation with me as I was scanning my items. She stood right next to my cart and launched into an animated monologue about her choices for retirement and the challenges of medical coverage. For special emphasis on some points, she got up real close. Thank God for masks.
We talked through my entire checkout experience until I finally gathered my groceries and walked to the car.
On the way home I thought about this encounter. Instead of an irritation, I surprisingly found it a blessing. She had broken past my wall and reminded me that the world is bigger than me and my grocery cart taking care of my specific family’s needs. She forced me to see beyond the boundaries of our current situation and enter for a moment into her world.
So what does this have to do with humility and faithfulness? Note that the apostles in today’s Gospel were irritated by the interruption of a woman outside their circle. They wanted the Lord to send her away so they could get back to their business. But despite their pleading, she persisted and the Lord stopped and listened. She stood up close and with immense faith and humility, she asked to be seen and heard. And her life was changed.
And though it doesn’t say it in the Gospel, I imagine the apostles were also changed.
This week I pray that we all get an opportunity to reach beyond the walls between us and enter into one another’s experiences with a little humility and a whole lot of faith.
It might just change us.