She walked into the group, holding a brown paper shopping bag -- not from a grocery store, but the kind you get from a boutique, with rolled brown handles and nice tissue paper. I've stopped into the store before, gently fingering the lotions and soaps, inhaling deeply the organic, milled scent. It's not really my style, but I wonder if it could be if I had the money.
She approached me and said, I have something for you. Because of what you wrote the other day. It touched us, as things are these days.
And I thought about the pink ribbons and the cardiac tests, so unexpected, and the quiet faithfulness that exudes from them. She who birthed and raised a family on the other side of the world. She who tells fabulous stories with a twinkle. She who laughs and sighs. She who says with assured determination, everything's going to be OK. And I believe her because I need to as much for myself as for her. And if it's not? I brush that thought away like the tears on my cheeks.
When we were in Hong Kong, she began. And she wove a story for me about Psalm 121 and the outreach and the image that I had painted, of God coming down the hill after us. So I thought you should have this, she said, pulling a mug with a lid from the bag, and telling me its story. I thought you should have this, and know how much it meant the other day to read your words.
I hugged her, breathing in deeply all that she is. And then she wrapped the fragile mug back in the same tissue that had come with the bag, the paper still holding the scent of fancy soaps in its folds, and handed it to me.