Sunday, January 11, 2009

After Church

He was a handsome older man standing in the shadows by the tree at the intersection. I could have walked on when the light turned green but stopped already said hello in that friendly way that invites conversation. He said hello in return turning towards me and looking me over. I guess I passed muster because he began to talk, saying something about the weather. A mild night it was with the snow melting and no rain.

One thought he might not have spoken much for a time. We talked about the weather and football for a while and then he spoke of his children. The light had turned green a couple of times already. I'm of an age when men who used to talk of lovers more often talk of their children. Often I don't know if it's their children they're talking about or their grand children. He was friendly and sensible and I was glad I'd said hello. Glad I'd not thought he was a mugger. Everyone looks the type if you watch enough tv.

In the end I took him for a pilot or a farmer but neither of us talked about work. It becomes less important with time.

I'd just come from church and I'm sure that Apostle Elizabeth would have wanted me to talk about Jesus but it didn't seem opportune. Not that I don't like talking about Jesus. But this man was talking about his children and how they'd liked to garden and the snow and rain would be good for gardens.

His ride came. Saying good bye, he got in the back of a suburu with young people in the front.

The light turned green and I went this time. I walked on to where I'd parked my truck. It was a kind of a peaceful and pleasant walk. Another time I wouldn't have stopped. Certainly not after work. Church does that to me. Makes me slow down. Taking time for a stranger. Behaving like I was back living in the country where people just naturally talked to each other.

I'll bet it's easier for a woman like Apostle Elizabeth to talk to a stranger about Jesus. I don't think Apostle Elizabeth knows what its like if a man starts talking to another man in the city about Jesus. Maybe he'd think I was a mugger or something. Certainly wouldn't talk to me about gardens and children. I would have talked to him about my truck if his ride hadn't come. I've been getting really good mileage on my truck since I took it in for a tune up.

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