you tell them-we've all got meanness in us, but we've got goodness too. and the only thing worth living for is the good.
-where the heart is
while leaving the post office yesterday, i walked behind a woman. she in her navy slacks and blazer. me in my peacoat and scarf. my steps matched hers on the cold cement floor, both of us making a racket in our high heels, like angry ladybugs flickering over a light bulb.
and i knew she saw me. felt my presence behind her, as much as i felt the presence of the man behind me, walking slower than us, falling a few steps behind.
so it came as a surprise when she opened the door and let its heavy weight sling back in my face, not pausing or looking behind her. talking on her cell phone and hurrying to her sedan. in her defense, perhaps i'm wrong and she didn't see me, in which case my emotions were totally unmerited. but in that moment, with my lunch hour almost over and my chilly hands stuffed into my pockets, i felt my heart sink. i backed away quickly enough to avoid any impact. but what an impact it made.
i turned and held the door for the man behind me and was rewarded with his gentle half-smile. he was older, much older and was taking his time getting to his car. i waited while he shuffled to the exit.
and i realized that humans are humans. we make mistakes. we are forgetful, jealous, rude and unkind at times. but we're good too. and like natalie portman so beautiful narrarates to ashley judd, that's the only part that's worth anything at all.
so yesterday evening, while christmas shopping with robert, i looked for it. the good, that is.
and i found it.
in the bald man ringing the salvation army bell outside the grocery store, wind rippling at his jeans. in his smile and friendly "have a blessed day."
in the sweet woman behind the sushi counter who giggled when i said we didn't know how to use chopsticks. the way she piled extra forks and knives on our plates as if to make up for our lack of skills.
in the store clerk passing out fresh cranberry oatmeal cookies while we shopped. in her unassuming red sweater and black slacks, begging us to try one, explaining how they were freshly baked.
in my kind neighbor. paralyzed from the waist down and lying in bed for two years. her overwhelming gratitude for my notary services. talking about the importance of coupons, sharing the love of Christ with me through her eyes.
in my mama, greeting me this evening with more brightly colored tights and a new oreo dessert. making her home a place i want to come back to, again and again.
there's so much good--so much beauty--in this world, that i sometimes don't know what to do with it all. so i do what i can. i gather it up and spread it. some of it i keep in my heart for times like today. when people slam the door in my face. when people disappoint and hurt me, or worse-when i hurt others. it's my own little cushion from life's hard blows.
it's just that simple. trust in the kindness of people. there are certainly some rotten ones out there, but unlike apples, a few can't spoil the bunch. because the bunch is inheritently, totally,