“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever”
(Hebrews 13:8 NIV)
My husband listens to a Sirius XM station where Thursday is “Throwback Thursday”. Listening to familiar oldies sets my mind back to past times; living in Jordan Park (the project), going to Jordan Park Elementary School, 16th Street Junior High (before it was called Middle School)… fond memories. Life seemed less complicated then; familiar people in familiar places… I felt liked, loved. I expected kindness, ‘cause that’s what I was shown, at home, at school, in the project, at church….buying flips (frozen Kool-Aid in a cup) for five cents; walking home for lunch; seeing my favorite teacher at Mount Zion AME on Sunday; walking across the field to my cousin’s house to watch my Aunt bake a cake knowing she would let me lick the spoon. Things weren’t perfect, but for me, life felt golden.
“Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.”
(Mark 12:31 NIV)
Today, it’s easy to feel less than golden when I hear and read the news. So, it’s a blessing to recall good times shared with people you know, in places you know. But, to me, it feels “extra” when you recall unexpected blessings from people you don’t know in unfamiliar places.
“Throwback Thursday” bought back the memory of feeling “extra” in a place away from home…..
“If I don’t see you tomorrow, have a safe trip back home.”
January 3, 2023, Destin, FL. Larry and I stopped at an Advance Auto Parts store to purchase windshield wipers; ours were shredded. During the transaction, the store’s computer system crashed. No transactions could be completed. We were told to come back the next day. “You know,” Larry said, “We need the wipers now, cause these are shredded and if we run into rain again, we’re in trouble.” Jessica, the cashier, looked at Larry and said “You can bet here, it’s going to rain. We’re not letting you leave without these blades. Listen, I am putting these wipers on your truck. If you don’t come back, I’ll pay for them out of my pocket.” Jessica took the blades outside. It took her and two other employees 20 minutes to put them on. During the process, I learned Jessica had a one year old baby boy who, by the way, can roll his “r’s.” Shortly after her marriage, her husband was diagnosed with ALS. Her father- in- law looks after her husband while she works. However, he had open heart surgery earlier that day. I thought, “with all of that going on in her life…she’s concerned about our wipers and even putting the money in for us. What an angel.” When the wipers were finally installed, we gave each other a hug. And, that’s when she looked me in the eyes and said, “If I don’t see you tomorrow, have a safe trip home.” Not, “I hope I see you tomorrow cause I really need to replace the money I am putting in for you.”
The next day, we pulled into the Advance Auto Parts store to reimburse Jessica $83.00 for the windshield wipers. A hefty amount for a one income mother of six, including a one year old and a sick husband. Tears stung my eyes as I told her how much I appreciated her kindness. She shushed me away as she dabbed her eyes. We hugged.
In hindsight, the two incidents, growing up in the projects and receiving a blessing in the Advance Auto Parts store don’t seem related. But, to me, they are. Both, like “Throwback Thursday” conjure memories of goodness that warm my heart and remind me of how good life is and how good people can be.
God, You are a good God. Thank You for wonderful childhood memories…using the good from the past to carry me through today. And, thank You for a beautiful angel, Jessica; reminding me, although bad stuff is happening, a lot of good is still out there. Amen!