From the corner of my eye I saw the green digitals change. Nearly one o’ clock. I stepped on the accelerator. Multiply my time, Lord. Let me be productive and efficient. The morning had been full, full, full. And the afternoon would be, too. Trip to the grocery store. Home to bake peach pies. Meeting friends for the homecoming parade. Delivering Grant to the high school for the game. Lonny’s parents’ house (pies in tow) for their anniversary dinner. Back to the school to retrieve Grant.
The commitments were racked up. Stacked up. And I had about twenty minutes to whisk three boys through the store. I began to feel a little anxious. Pressed. Like my day was driven by a menacing clock that measured minutes but didn’t allow time for joy.
I approached the intersection just as the light turned red. I didn’t have time to wait. Time to sit. I sighed. Looked out my window. Then I saw him.
He sat on a bench, outside the retirement home. His shoulders were stooped with age, and his head bent low. His arms hung down, elbows resting on knees, and his hands were clasped. He looked lost in thought. Prayer? I don’t know. But he was quiet. Still. And very, very alone.
Like all he had was time.
I wondered if he, in days long ago, had felt pressed. Pressured. He must’ve been full. Providing for his family (Bringing in the fields? We live in corn country). Raising his kids. Leading his loved ones. I imagined that there were days when it felt like his world turned too fast and there were not enough hours to get it all done.
The light turned green, and I moved ahead. Toward the store. Toward my day. Toward my dear family. Toward my dear friends.
But as I drove, I whispered a prayer for the gentleman. And I thanked God for my sweet season of abundance.