The Benediction

Dear Charleston Lady whose bright eyes have seen nine decades,

We saw you before you saw us. You leaned in heavy concentration on your walker, your face soft and lovely and your perfectly pink lips pursed as your gentle caregiver encouraged you forward. You turned our way when we paused to let you cross the sidewalk, and your look of curiosity blossomed into wide-eyed, open-mouthed recognition.

You knew us.

Or at least you knew what it was like to be us. Maybe for a moment it was you strolling hand-in-hand down the sidewalk with your man, your red summer dress catching the seacoast breeze. Maybe it was your own handsome husband stealing grateful glances at his bride, calculating the weight of God’s faithful goodness over the years. Maybe for a second your back straightened, your fingers uncurled, and your legs became strong and ready for a day of beauty and adventure and young love.

The recognition rippled across your face and was gone like a wave in the sand, but in its place was sweet joy. “Oh,” you breathed, “Oh, have fun.”

A simple benediction spilling out from long years of grace and peace.

Before I could ask your name, your caregiver added her kind smile to your words and helped you into the car.

But I have a feeling we’ll see you again someday. And then I’ll ask you about your story and tell you, yes, lovely Charleston Lady, we had fun.

1 Comment

  1. Bonnie Price
    Jun 5, 2023

    Beth, once again you have gifted us with the beauty of seeing a fellow human through God’s eyes. You have the ability to create sacred space and the grace of presentness. Thank you!

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