I found myself in a writing mood one morning after an incident which seemed noteworthy to retell. The essay begins with a quote from a book which seemed so apropos.
“Colton was in that narrow window of life where he hadn’t yet learned either tact or guile.”
The author was referring to how children at a young age tend to blurt out whatever is on their mind in sometimes a rather embarrassing way.
Intellectually disabled people sometimes tend to say what is on their mind without considering the effect also……which finally brings me to my story.
Yesterday afternoon on my way home from the daily drop-by and check-out at my mom’s house, I stopped by the grocery store for a few needed items. Most Market Baskets are laid out the same but each individual store has its own particular differences. Being in a state of semi-conscientiousness these past few weeks, it didn’t take much to place me off-balance. By the time I made my way through the dairy aisle and then the condiment aisle I was “ripe” for total confusion in the produce section.
Now I don’t now if the reduced lighting in that section of the store or my newest vow to see all things in a different hue and more calm and loving way was what guided me through the following scene.
As I made my way toward the grapes, I found that I was not able to pass through the aisle. In front of me and to the right inspecting the melons was a woman with her carriage. That was not the immediate reason for the obstruction. In the middle of the aisle and a bit to the left, where I wanted to pass was a young man, the exact height as me, that stood with his back to me. I said excuse me but got no response. Assuming that like most teenagers who find themselves in a place they don’t want to be, I expected to see earphones and an ipod as the reason for his non-response to my request to move. After closer inspection I was mistaken. So I repeated my request a couple of elevated decibels……all the while taking a deep breath and praying for patience.
Finally, I just had to place my hand gently on his arm as I squeezed my wagon past him. I made no comment, squelched the urge to sigh and remembered my renewed vow for peace within.
As always, I randomly navigated around the produce section without any set or organized route. I found myself in my usual dilemma in the apple section. Where was the elusive pink lady variety?
As I was about to wrap-up my grocery store expedition, I turned to head towards the checkout lines and found quite the surprise.
There standing before me eye to eye was the young man who could not previously move out of my way. Once again he was obstructing my ability to move forward. Nothing out of the ordinary in appearance for a teenager, he seemed harmless. I remember thinking that even though he could possibly crush me in an instant with his upper body muscular frame, his soft brown eyes told a different story and purpose for impeding my ability to move forward.
He had a unique look in his eyes that I couldn’t immediately determine. He smiled slightly at me and then said something I never expected in a million years.
He tilted his head to one side and said in the softest, kindest voice “you are so pretty”.
I said thank you and at this point realized that he was no “ordinary” 15 year old boy.
I was so thankful at this point for not losing my patience when I couldn’t get him to move in the aisle.
With my hair tied up in a ponytail and very little make-up, I knew that the beauty-police would surly rate me in the very low numbers……but somehow in his childish existence this young man found beauty. Was it youth, innocence, impaired intellect that caused him to see this? It is often said that when one sense is impaired the other senses become more keen. Was he sensing something that could not be seen?
I would like to think that the patience and peace that was WITHIN me while I shopped was what he saw and perhaps felt.
Matthew 18:3 I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.