The other week, I was walking in downtown Seattle, just walking home after going to FedEx. The sidewalks were busy after a long day at work. As I was passing a bus stop, with people standing around, an elderly-ish man, stepped into my path. He was short and looked fairly homeless. He held out a tootsie roll. I said “no thanks”. But he really wanted me to take it. I’m not a fan of making scenes nor did I want to make the man mad, so…I took it. Whatever. I took the candy and he got closer. I’m not about to back up or back down. So I stood there as his face got closer. We stared each other in the eyes. I’m not always that great at eye contact (because I have a hard time thinking when I’m lost in your eyes) but when it comes to crazy old men, I will stare you down. I didn’t realize though, he had his lips puckered. Nasty old man. Giving me your tootsie roll, does not mean I’m gonna kiss yo’ nasty face. Oh hell no. I immediately backed up and said “Oh! No!” and quickly moved away and kept walking. I did laugh though wondering how many people he had done that to, with all those bus stoppers watching. Sometimes, I’m still too naïve for these streets. Old men do not give sweet girls candy for nothing. Yes, I threw the tootsie roll away.

Today, as I was walking down the sidewalk, a young guy, with his friends, looked at me and said “Can I give you a hug?”. He looked harmless and since it was Pride Day, I figured he was just in the hugging mood. And I never get enough hugs so I said “sure”. We hugged, he kissed me on the cheek and said, “I love you!” and we all kept walking our opposite directions. And I smiled to myself. I just got hugged/kissed by a stranger, who probably was high on something but you know what? I felt, oddly enough, briefly loved. He could have been an angel for all you know. He wasn’t trying to molest me in public and I did not feel threatened. My parents never really taught me about stranger danger–that wasn’t an ideology my parents embraced-my parents love strangers (embarrassingly love strangers-we have a hard time loving each other sometimes but man, we know how to love strangers). Don’t get me started on that one.

Today, I also held a crying baby at church (in the nursery). The other children were not crying but this one, he just wouldn’t stop. This wasn’t his first rodeo nor mine. So, I would hold him, bounce him, dance with him, put him down, let him wander around the room crying and crying, pick him up, kiss his cute little face, put him down, he’d come back, sit on my lap, kiss him again, crying, crying, crying. We looked through the window crack and saw a homeless lady sleeping outside-she opened her eyes and waved at us and I waved back, and Silas kept crying. And I kissed his little face and said, “I’m so sorry you are so sad”. And his tears kept running down his face. We played blocks-read books-ate cookies; and the tears kept flowing. Actually, I did all those things and he just cried. Like the world was ending.

This past week, I was having a rough few days- for a few reasons that aren’t important to my story. So, I took my insecure self to a fundraising event on Thursday evening that was more of just a fun party. I didn’t particularly want to go to be honest but it was a cause that is near and dear to my heart. Going to big parties by myself is always something I have to talk myself into but I went and prayed God would give me people to talk to-which he of course did. So, long story short, God kissed me on the cheek and I won the raffle prize of a Microsoft surface pro 3. God loves giving you a kiss on the cheek and reminding  that he hasn’t forgotten you and is still working on your behalf.

So what am I trying to say? Hug more. Kiss more. And stay away from strangers who give candy and then pucker up.

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