Going shopping with a friend seems an unlikely scenario for a miracle to happen but the thing about miracles is they are always unexpected. I had asked a friend to go shopping with me on Wednesday. I have never been a ‘good’ shopper because I don’t like shopping. Consequently, I know nothing about which stores to go to for what I need. Then once I’m in a store I can rarely find what I’ve gone there for and I even have trouble finding staff to help me once I’m in the stores. Really! Shopping doesn’t come naturally to me.
So, if I ever ‘need’ to go shopping for something specific, I will usually try to find a friend who either likes shopping or has a special interest in whatever it is that I need to go shopping for. In this instance, I asked a friend to come with me in order to find some new outdoor patio chairs. I had her help me a few years ago when I was trying to buy furniture to match wallpaper. (I was in way over my head on that one!) Anyway, she had a proven track record of being the right friend to have along on a furniture shopping mission. I’m so glad I asked her to accompany me. We only had to go to three stores to find what I wanted and the store we found the chairs in was one that I didn’t even know existed so would not have thought to go there, if left to my own devices. I really love how using the buddy-system always brings better results than going it alone.
On the way home, we stopped at another store for a few grocery items. My friend picked up a small bunch of bok choy, while I had several items. We happened to be going through a check out aisle because this particular store doesn’t have self-service lanes. The clerk rang my items all up and my friend’s lone bunch of bok choy was sitting on the conveyor belt. I said to the clerk, just add that to my groceries which he did and I paid for it on my credit card. My friend got out her $3 and attempted to pay me for her bok choy but I said, “Let me buy it for you as a thank you for coming along with me this morning.”
My friend had this momentary internal struggle – she wanted to insist on paying for her bok choy because it is (or was) a long-held belief/pattern of hers to always pay her own way. This may have been a value instilled in her from childhood. And on the surface, it certainly does appear to be a good value to have. Always pay your own way! But, like EVERYTHING, we need to ‘read’ the situation in the current moment.
What was the right thing to do here? Should she insist on paying me for her bok choy or should she let me buy her bok choy as a small gesture of thanks.
Out of the corner of my eye, I could see her internal struggle but I was most likely the only one who would have been able to detect the battle going on within her. She made one more effort to pay me and I said to her, “Could you wait here with the groceries while I go check out an item I have forgotten?” She cheerfully agreed and as I walked off, she put her money away.
Now for people who don’t know my friend, you may not be able to fully appreciate that this was a small miracle. There have been many instances in our friendship where I’ve paid for a pot of chai, or grabbed two of something and she has always insisted on paying her share, even against my wishes. Yes, it may have been something she learned from a young age but there was also always a sense of needing to pay in order to be liked or ensure her value. So on this day, when she put her money away, I knew it was because she had passed a big milestone in which she was able to accept that someone appreciated her presence.
Later that evening my housemates and I were talking about miracles and I shared my shopping story. One of them offered us a piece of wisdom that she had recently been gifted with.
“No miracle is too big or too small. Heaven celebrates them all equally.”
Don’t get me wrong. I love a big miracle! But there is something so sweet about the small miracles that I can totally get behind celebrating them all equally. Sighting of small miracles can be contagious. Once you recognise one, you are more likely to spot another.
No matter where we live in the world, all of us most likely have had an enforced ‘quiet-down’ time imposed on us. It’s a great opportunity to become still enough within ourselves, that we can see the small miracles that normally go unnoticed.
Yesterday, I emailed a friend that I had not talked to in some time but I had a specific reason for contacting him. At the conclusion of my email I said something about ‘trusting he was well in spite of the new level of crazy in the world.” I received his reply the next morning in which he was able to give me the info I had requested and he concluded his email by saying: “Yes, it’s a very interesting world play at the minute. I'm enjoying going deeper and being more settled with-in myself. I'm having a good time of it all actually.” The ability to stay centred within our inner heart in spite of the world being in a calamity is yet another small miracle that is being celebrated in heaven.
In spite of - whatever is going on with and behind - the covid19 hyperbole, most people I know are using this time to deepen within themselves. They are spending quality time with their partner and children, utilising the time at home to undertake projects that they normally can’t find time for, engaging in on-line exercises classes because they finally have time to build it into their daily rhythm, or planting a vegetable garden. Thank heaven (literally) someone deemed hardware stores and garden nurseries essential services! Another small miracle.
Until next month then, may you be settled enough within yourself to notice all the small miracles that are sprinkled throughout your life. – Oh, and celebrate them!
Gayle Cue loves writing about life, reflecting on every day miracles and pondering on the big picture.
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