Holiday Spirit - Hiding in Plain Sight
After work today, I headed to the post office to pick up a package I had missed the delivery of trying to hurry back in time to pick up my son from school.
I jumped out of the car and was slowed by someone walking casually down the steps.
As I entered the post office, I was confronted by a long line of weary 'holiday mailers' all impatiently waiting their turn to post the many packages and cards they carried.
"Hmmm, I thought, this could take some time."
I took a deep breath and exhaled any sense of hurried-ness and sank into the moment at hand with full attention. As I was scanning the line ahead of me and the tired postal workers, an Asian man turned around and opened his eyes with wide surprise and said ,
"Oh, I thought I was the end of the line," then he started laughing a laugh that was so delightful that I found myself laughing as well.
He had a plaid wool fedora , a nice wool coat ,with black pants and sneakers. His face was radiant. His cheekbones were as high as the ceiling and his eyes disappeared when he smiled. There was such enthusiasm emanating out from his being that my breath caught for a moment and then settled.
He continued to look around at all the long faces in the crowd interacting with those close to him with jolly chuckles, but I was the only one who seemed to notice. Everyone seemed to be too married to their own stories of impatience, exhaustion, or resentment to even see, let alone take in, the immense amount of LIGHT that was filling the room.
I couldn't take my eyes off him, he was so luminous and beautiful. When his turn came to approach the counter, he started to joke with the postman who didn't seem to be amused in the slightest, but I was. He placed his package and letters on the counter and was beaming the entire time. It was as if there was some extraordinary thing in that package he was sending and that THIS MOMENT was the best day of his life. He asked the postman if he was ready for Christmas and the postman replied in an abrupt and dull manner , "No".
After about 3 minutes the postman said, " What about you, are you ready?" The man said,
"OH YES! I know exactly what I am asking for this year, I want to be one year younger!" then he started to howl with laughter again and I too began to giggle.
He turned around and smiled at me again and said " You heard me?" I shook my head yes still smiling and we both snickered again.
My turn came and I picked up my package, and I watched the Asian man next to me as he was finishing up his business. He continued to joke about hoping he had enough money to pay for the postage, then opened a little change purse when the postman said it was $10.49.
He dug into the purse and pulled out a 10 dollar bill, then said "Oh Dear"...then poured out all the changed and started to laugh again as he handed the postman exactly 49 cents.
"I can't believe it, he squealed, "the total of all the coins in my purse is exactly 49 cents!" he looked as if he had won the lottery.
We both finished our transactions at the exact same time and walked toward the door together.
" Do you live around here?" he asked.
"Yes", I said smiling.
"Ahhh that is why you are so smart." I missed the connection but he looked as though he KNEW exactly what he meant by it.
As we walked out to the parking lot he stopped me and asked
"How old do you think I am?"
I studied his shiny, smooth skin and his graying hair and guessed,
I thought he would fall over he was laughing so hard, then he looked right into my eyes and said,
"I am 82 years old!"
As I looked at him again and I could see a stunning amount of KNOWLEDGE in his eyes.
"WOW! I said, what ever you are doing, keep doing it!"
He replied, "I preach the gospel" with a twinkle in his eye.
Then he told me a story about how he had moved to the United States from Korea when he was 53 and went into theological school and was the oldest freshman in his class. He received his PHD from Temple University and has been teaching ever since.
I thanked him for sharing all that he did, and for his beautiful energy, then he took my hand in both of his and said,
"You could understand everything I said," as if that was a miracle and surprising, and then wished me a happy holiday. We gazed into each others eyes for a moment more and it felt like home, there was no self consciousness at all for either of us, just a total recognition of connection. I gave his hand a slight squeeze and we both walked to our cars.
As I stepped into my car it hit me, HUGE waves of bliss filled my heart and everything around me seemed to sparkle. It was MAGICAL, it was the best Christmas present that I could have ever asked for. To be in the company of such a Saint in plain sight that NO ONE else seemed to notice. It was such an affirmation that we can witness miracles and magic when we slow down enough to pay attention to what is given to us, and you never know how those gifts will come..or even where miracles will happen, YES dear Ones...even at the post office!
I am reminded of a quote from Douglas Brooks:
" You never know in what FORM the Lord is coming."
Sending LOVE and Holiday blessings to you all