February 11, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day!

She walked in wearing industrial shoes, a blue quilted vest, and a Colt's baseball cap. I was waiting for my car to be fixed. Our eyes met.

Finding the TV remote, she said, "Mind? I had surgery last June and lost 163 pounds. When I left the hospital, they told me to walk and drink lots of water. So I walked eight miles and was back in the hospital that day. Then they thought I had liver cancer. I lived with that for two weeks. But I was fine. I've been thrown through two windshields caused by drunk drivers, broke my wrist yesterday, and I am here because my brakes failed on the ice this morning. I supervise 63 men at the water factory, and I know I don't look real feminine. Sorry. What are you making?"

"I'm embroidering hearts on index cards to send for Valentine's day. You sure've had a rough time."

Then I heard someone call my name and say, "Your car is ready." I gathered my thread, needles, and cards, and hesitated. Before I left I wanted to give her a gift, something tangible. So I went through my valentines and chose the one with the most ornate embroidery. As I walked by her chair, I handed her the card and said, "Happy Valentine's Day." As she took it in her bandaged hand, her countenance changed, "Happy Valentine's day to you too."

Giving is a way to honor our God. Jesus said, "Love one another as I have loved you." That day, that woman were gifts of God to me. How could I not respond in kind?

Jacquie Reed, Fishers, Indiana

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