It is a singular gift to notice the moments of grace when they happen. Perhaps they happen every day, all the time, when we’re not looking. One goes about daily life without expectations that the universe is paying any attention to our puny selves after all. Yet, once in a while, those moments happen. As if the great, kind hand of the universal rhythm notices you and decides to help. Because you need it. Or deserve it. Or it was just your turn, damn it.
These moments can happen when I am in the most mundane of places. Like the grocery store for instance. One day after work, tired, a list of things to do coupled with a weary sense that I am hanging on by that proverbial thread, I looked down the line of clerks and every one was busy, with a wait at each station that sent me into a small despair. How I hate waiting in line at grocery stores. I eyed my basket and reluctantly concluded I’d go to the self service kiosk. Even though what I really wanted was someone to do it all for me. And out of nowhere sprang a smiling young clerk in red, who commandeered my basket and led me to the self service station where he announced he would “do it all” for me, exactly as if he’d heard my unspoken wish. Cheerfully he rang the groceries, stacked them in bags, made sure I was all set for payment and in a few minutes had me on my way. Surprised and pleased, I tried to make my way out and my recalcitrant cart, which had been giving me wheel trouble, stopped dead on the gray carpet in the cart lobby just inside the front doors. I sighed. What were my options? Haul the groceries across the lobby to another cart. Didn’t want to. Again, that sense of weariness overtook me and the work to transfer carts seemed just…too much. At that instant, yet another smiling store employee came through the front doors and saw my predicament. “Looks like a locked cart,” she clucked. “Here, let me get you another one.” She pulled a new cart over and smiled while I transferred groceries and sent me on my way.
I slid into the front seat of my car, wondering at all the unexpected help. “Thank you universe,” I breathed. And then it hit me. How much I needed that help. How raw I was from recent heart breaking life events. Then I burst into tears. I made my way slowly through the parking lot to the street, tears rolling down my cheeks, overwhelmed at the reality of the grace I had just received. Nothing strange or paranormal about it. Just a reminder that we are all connected to the great wheel of cause and effect, and sometimes, when we least expect it, we are offered moments of grace. And surely, the greatest gift of all is noticing when they happen.