Friday, November 9, 2012

Election Day Grace

Ed. Note: If I didn’t tell you already, I’m living in the Los Angeles area for the next three months, for a temporary work assignment.

On Election Day morning, I rode my bike to work, and stopped at the Post Office to mail a package. I only bought my bike last week from a couple I met on Craigslist, and I don’t have a lock for it yet, so I propped it up against the wall outside the Post Office, and periodically looked back at it while I was in line to make sure no one took it. (Although, if someone did, I don’t know what I would have done – run after them really fast?)

I was in line ahead of two petite blond ladies who were talking together about the election. (Not about who they wanted to win, but about their experiences volunteering as poll workers.) One of them noticed that I kept checking on my bike, and told me I should go bring it into the Post Office. “I’ll hold your spot in line,” she offered. I thanked her, and ran out to bring the bike inside.

When I came back to the line, she pressed ten dollars in small bills into my hands. “That should be enough to buy a lock,” she said. “You can get it at the Do-It-Yourself store down the road.”

I was flabbergasted. “I can’t accept this, ma’am,” I said. “I have a good job; I’m very blessed.”

“No, you have to take it!” she insisted. “You’re new to town, and you need a lock!”

From behind her, her friend said, “You remind her of your brother.”

I didn’t know what else to say, so I gave in and thanked her profusely. I offered my hand and said, “I’m Joel.” She took my hand and said, “Hi, Joel; I’m Jane.” And I realized there were tears in her eyes.

I was touched beyond words at Jane’s gift, and I’m not very good at on-the-spot conversations with strangers to begin with, so I didn’t say anything else. But Jane of Westlake Village, CA, if you ever read this, I’m donating your gift to help rescue enslaved people in Africa. Thank you for showing me grace and love in a new neighborhood. I pray that God will bless and take care of your brother, wherever he is, and that he will continue to use you to bless the people you come across.

I was busy pulling a tick off of my landlady’s dog when they called Ohio for Obama, so that event doesn't stick out in my mind as much.

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