It happened yesterday, just before I left to run errands.

I was washing a few dishes, gazing out the window at the view I love: lots and lots of trees, and beautiful, rolling terrain. The particular tree my eye was trained on (for no particular reason) started to tremble and shake from within. Curious, I honed my focus and watched as the tree seemed to shake itself out, finally spitting a big squirrel to its trunk…followed by another, and another, and another, until no less than SEVEN had spilled out. It made me wonder just what all else was happening in any given moment just beyond my view.

I gathered up my keys and bag and headed to town, stopping first at our local UPS/Fedex Mail Store. The usual guy greeted me, getting my tracking number printed, when my eye wandered through the open door behind him to the back room. There was a woman back there, sitting at a computer with a very fussy baby in her arms. She was obviously trying to work, but the baby seemed sick, and she had that look on her face that was a cross between frustration and worry. Saying a little prayer for her, I left for a quick stop into TJ Maxx.

A young college-aged guy greeted me at the cash register. I had purchased some new weights for my work out routine, and he commented on their great pricing for fitness stuff, pointing out the good deal he’d gotten on the Under Armour shirt he was wearing. He was also wearing his phone on his belt, which buzzed as he was speaking. After a quick glance at the screen, he said “I’m so sorry, but I have to take this.” I wasn’t in a hurry, but was surprised that he would take it during a sale. He turned his back and stepped away, but I could still hear him.

“Yes. Yes, I understand. So more tests, then? Tomorrow? Which hospital? Okay, thank you.”

He quickly turned back, apologizing profusely, and trying to smile through a tight look of panic. So young to carry such a burden. Saying a prayer for him, I left for the grocery store.

Lugging the last of my haul onto the belt, I stepped up to greet my checker. She was a small woman, appearing to be in her late 60’s, and I had never seen her before. A radiant smile beamed from an almost completely bald head, with only a thin fringe of pure white hair hanging from about the midpoint of her skull, all the way around, and a few wisps across the top. She looked tired and frail, but happy, and she chatted about everything and nothing as she pulled each item across the scanner. As I was pulling my debit card from my wallet, I happened to glance at the shelves under the register. Five across and two deep stood prescription medicine bottles like tiny soldiers. Thanking her warmly, I said a prayer for her as I wheeled my buggy out of the store.

Then I drove home, realizing anew that it is SO not about me. My view is often so egocentric…until my eyes are opened to the reality of life beyond it.


“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves.” Philippians 2:3 NIV