In Staples, the office supply store, in line waiting to make a purchase. In front of me was a woman, who had a t-shirt which said Northside Hospital Cancer Treatment, which was a pretty big clue for even me. Then there was a bandana that she wore and it was pretty evident that no hair remained on her head. And I was drawn to her.
I asked her, “if the line started behind her?” She said, “It did.” Polite, courteous.
I asked her, “if she had been waiting long.” She said, ” not long.”
I asked her, “how she was feeling.” She said, “pretty good considering.”
Sarah told me that she was awaiting a stem cell transplant for her leukemia, that she was twenty five years old and had a four year old child. She told me she went to Lovejoy High School and that she was trying to remain positive.
While we were still in line I asked her this final question, “Do you ever get scared Sarah?”
She paused, just for a second, and said, “Sometimes.”
What do you do with that? I talked with her a little more and then she was gone. The chances of us ever speaking again are minimal. Why? Because of her health challenge. Maybe, but not really. The chances are that we just simply will not cross paths again in our life.
Sarah and I spent just a couple of moments together standing in line. She, encouraging me without knowing she was. Me, intentionally trying to encourage her but not sure if I had.
There is a verse I read just a couple of hours before meeting Sarah. It says,
“…that I may be encouraged together with you, while among you, each of us by the other’s faith, both yours and mine.” Romans 1:12
We never know when we are going to run into that person who re-directs our entire day and causes us to be more mindful, more direct, more compassionate with those we come in contact.
Authors Note: Sarah, I do not know your last name. I gave you our blog address and I hope you will read these words and be touched by them. I hope that your four year old will grow old and take care of you even then. I hope you will have the opportunity to encourage other young adults who come up against such a mighty challenge. And, you wanna know something Sarah?
You re-directed my day and caused me to re-consider my path on this day.
Thank you Sarah…thank you.