Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Grocery Store Parking Lots

As we settle in
we find it's not so easy to dig deep.

For what is behind still wrangles it's knotted hands on our hearts.
What is now hazes the days until one foggy morning seeps into another misty day
and the fog settles over our lives
and sometimes all we see is ourselves.
Our needs.
Our desires.
Our demands.

He, that man I'm planting with, looked for work.
And looked.
And nothing.
Now he's painting
and the business is gaining momentum
so that mornings are shadowy with sun streaming through.

He went to the store the other day and saw
a tall thin man bent over, carrying a bucket with tools to wash car windows.
He watched this man help ladies push their carts away,
and box-girls haul those loads of carts back to the store.
He watched him try to earn some money,
but there was nothing.

So he went to this man and asked:
Do you clean cars?
Yes, the man replied.
Hey, said my planter guy, my car windows definitely need to be done.
But I don't have time.
Can I give you some money now and come back another day?
The money was given and without hesitation
that car-washing man picked up his bucket and walked directly to the pizza place.

Co-planter stopped.
And wept.
For a year since moving to the states he'd felt beaten
and bent
by the weight of what he'd left
by the heft of what lay ahead.
Still, he'd not been washing windows in a parking lot.
Food on the table.
Roof over head.
Car to drive.
Clothes to wear.
Hand to hold.

He'd been covered.

Just when you think you don't want to live in such a desperate way,
you realize you do.
Such dependency cultivates gratitude.

Those tears.
They watered his soul.
Spoke of gratefulness.
A language of humility.
A life-style of brokenness.

A soul can do nothing but flourish with such bent over living~
bent over living at the foot of Him who gives all
and causes life to happen
in desperate little grocery story parking lots.