Wednesday, January 25, 2017

A Veteran in a Truck Stop

    I stood in the truck stop, debating over which kind of candy bar to get.  And I'm not sure why it was such a huge decision, but it was. They had Snickers with nuts, without nuts, crunchy, less-crunchy--Butterfingers that look like Reese's--Reese's that don't look like Reese's--suckers with freakin' worms in them! Anyway, have you been to the candy aisle, lately?  It's INSANE. 
    Before long, I lost interest in the candy, and had somehow noticed nearly every around me. Because...I get distracted.
    An older lady with gray hair stood trying on different sunglasses, she gazed at herself in the mirror in smiled in all of these different ways.  A young mother and father bossed their toddlers around, telling them not to touch ANYTHING--good luck.  There were many, many more people around, but the most intriguing was an elderly veteran who stood on one side of the store and a young dark-skinned woman by the check out.  The woman kept glancing at the man, and her attention drew mine to him as well.
    The veteran looked tired, weary in a sort of way that I can only imagine.  Big bags bulged under his eyes.  He limped, using a gnarled cane for support.  Yet as he walked past various people, he smiled at each one.  I knew he was a veteran because of the jean jacket he wore--it had all sorts of details about his past sewn onto it: various badges, pictures of planes, something about years of service.  I continued watching him, and so did the young woman across the store, even as she checked out and purchased a hat.  I thought she'd leave after that, but she didn't.
    She walked gracefully toward the veteran, long arms and legs moving like rippling water. Her black hair descended past her shoulders and I couldn't help staying captivated--there was something so intriguing about this woman, not just how beautiful she was, but WHO she was.
    She glided across the store and stopped right in front of the elderly man.  He tensed for just a moment, almost seeming nervous. "Can I help you?" he asked.
    "You already have," she said, opened the bag and handed him the hat she'd just purchased. "Thank you for your years of service.  People might not tell you all of the time, but you are so very appreciated."  Then she turned, and like a light snuffed out amid a dimly lit room, she was gone.
    The old man shakily straightened out the hat and put it on his head.  It was his turn to go stand where the gray-haired woman had been earlier, pulling all of those strange faces at herself in the mirror.  But the veteran didn't pull odd faces, instead he looked at his reflection, tipped the hat a little to the left, and wiped a few tears from his eyes.
    A lady whom I hadn't even noticed next to me said, "Wow. That was amazing to watch."
    "It really was."  
    Age, race, gender, all of that crap aside, I had witnessed the kindness of one human to another.  So often we get caught up in the facade of life. How much better would our world be, if more people were like that woman, real examples of God on earth. 
    I could've been a giver that day--really, as I watched everyone, but instead I'd stood debating over which candy bar to get myself.  Some people are such freakin' misers!
    As I finally decided on my "Oh, Henry" bar, I walked up to the cashier who had a bazillion piercings and all sorts of tattoos. And I thought about how even though I don't look as cool as that cashier, God's love for us is the same. The woman earlier had shown His love; I sure wish I did that more often.

Signing Off,
A non-religious person who loves God and candy

Have a great day! :)