I stopped into our local grocery store this morning to pick up a gift card to Michael's for my mom-in-law for Christmas. As I stood at the end-cap, searching for a Michael's gift card, the woman next to me commented on how they had gift cards for every business except the one she was searching for - Barnes and Noble. When she walked away, I moved in to get a closer look in my search and lo and behold, I found the Barnes and Noble gift cards!
I quickly grabbed one and found the woman a few aisles over. She was pleasantly surprised and thankful, and joined me as I walked back to the gift cards. As I pointed out the location, I exclaimed how the tables had turned - I found her's, but it appeared they did not have the one I was looking for. When she asked, I told her Michael's and then started to walk away.
As I did, I heard her exclaim, "here it is!" As she pulled it off the rack to hand to me, I burst out laughing. Neither one of us alone could find what we were looking for. But in her gratitude of my finding what she was looking for, she was able to return the favor by finding what I was looking for.
Had I found the gift card she wanted, but not taken the step to let her know (or had she not even spoken to a stranger in the first place!), we would've both walked away disappointed - not having seen what was right in front of our eyes. We laughed together, feeling a little silly, and at the same time expressing our gratitude, and wishing each other a Merry Christmas.
This was a simple encounter, and yet one I hold in my heart as a holy encounter. I know we both walked away lighter - filled with the joy of helping one another and joining together in laughter, gratitude, and love.
6 When you meet anyone, remember it is a holy encounter. ²As you see him, you will see yourself. ³As you treat him, you will treat yourself. ⁴As you think of him, you will think of yourself. ⁵Never forget this, for in him you will find yourself or lose sight of yourself. ⁶Whenever two Sons of God meet, they are given another chance at salvation. ⁷Do not leave anyone without giving salvation to him and receiving it yourself. ⁸For I am always there with you, in remembrance of you. [CE T-8.II.6]