Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Four Things That Made Me Smile

1. Driving through suburbia I was amused to see a real life version of those cheesy and rude lawn signs (landscape decorations? more like desecrations). You know the ones. They show the rear view of a bent over woman’s skirt and fat legs, supposedly gardening without bending her knees. I’ve always detested the image but in this case, I had to smile. From my car all I could see of a young woman on the sidewalk was her polka dotted leggings stretched tightly over her legs and her bottom while she tightened her shoe laces without bending her knees. I doubt she was aware of our view.

2. I arrived home already a bit chagrined at having to appear in our rusty wreck of an old van, the one that’s been toting, for six months, mind you, a chaise longue that needs reuphostery. The van is usually hidden behind our cute new Honda Fit but today the Honda was in for a check up. After I parked, I opened the driver's door, got out and then crawled back inside to reach across for all of my stuff that was on the passenger seat. Bad idea. I grabbed a shopping bag, a sunglasses case, gloves, my phone, two library books, and my too-warm coat. Backing awkwardly out of the driver’s door, arms laden, I fumbled the slipping pile. In my desperate flailing to catch everything, my elbow bumped the steering wheel hard. An embarrassing blast from the horn alerted the neighbours. Made me laugh.  

3. In the middle of an exciting charismatic church service, the man beside me sat stone-faced. I, of course, was up and down, moving to the drums, waving my arms to the music. Mostly I avoided meeting anyone’s eyes in order to concentrate on God’s goodness, but a couple of times I glanced at my neighbour, hoping to share the moment. He didn’t return my glance. He sat slouched and stoic. Beside him, his wife managed their very young grandchild. The toddler was as active as you’d expect, climbing around and wandering as far as his grandmother would allow. Her husband ignored them both. Finally, the little one tried to climb onto his grandfather’s lap. I was relieved to see the man help him up and settle him facing forward. The little boy leaned his head onto his grandfather’s chest, rested his baby hands on the much bigger gnarled ones, and then turned his sweet face to look up into his grandpa’s eyes. I couldn’t see if he got any welcoming response but the child’s trusting and hopeful overture made me smile.
"Unless you become like children..." Matt.18:3

4. My neighbour, Sue, was holding a wrapped bouquet while she unlocked her car door.
“Oh, who are the flowers for?”
“My Mom.”
A passing stranger she’d met on the sidewalk had given her the blooms. When asked why, the stranger smiled, “ Oh, just a random act of kindness.” Sue was handing on the unexpected gift to her elderly mother. 
She told me a happy back-story. A couple of days earlier she had noticed a woman running for a bus that carried on without stopping for her. Sue pulled over to offer the stranger a lift to the subway and heard that she was on her way to visit an ailing uncle. Her long trip would include another bus ride even after the subway.
Sue and I smiled at each other, seeing the flowers as a sweet reward for Sue’s previous favour. Karma or an affirmation by our kind Creator.