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  • Writer's pictureRick Zumpano

She Hugged Me

Jesus taught that His people are “the salt of the earth.” He wasn’t referring to salt’s capacity as a preservative or an antiseptic but as a seasoning. Christians are to “flavor” life with God’s love and grace. This came home to me some years ago in a very personal way.

That day, my schedule had me in an establishment to send money by electronic means. This happened to be a place which also offers “pay day” loans, short term loans and other financial services. Most of the clientele are struggling to make ends meet.

There were several ahead of me when I went in, so I took a seat - the line moves slowly at times. While I was waiting more people came in. Then another lady entered. To say that she was shabbily dressed would be an understatement. Silver slacks which could have passed for pajamas and a red, sleeveless top (It was jacket weather). She smelled of cigarette smoke. She was wobbly on her feet, and it was hard to tell if she had some kind of medical condition, or it was because of the black, out-of-style dress shoes she was wearing. They appeared to be too small.

She hobbled over to another lady seated in a chair and paid her respects. As she wobbled back to the middle of the waiting area, she looked in my direction, and I got up and offered her my seat. She kind of stared at me while a look of pure amazement came over her face. I said, “Please sit down.” She stammered something which I could not comprehend as she looked at me and then at the chair. Then she turned to face the counter. But in just a few moments she turned around to me, this time with a smile on her face and then did the strangest thing. She hugged me. I hugged her cautiously in return. Then she tottered over to the other side of the waiting area.

Who knows how that lady had been treated in life or what her problems were? But that day Jesus salted her life with grace. Someone noticed her and thought she mattered enough to be offered a seat. And I was humbled and astonished to be part of it all.

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