A necessary big disclaimer: Covid can strike anybody, at any age, any level of fitness or religious faith. This little moment on the street is just appreciation for a friendly neighbor and his cheerful personal philosophy. -m
Our neighbor Mr. K. was getting out of his car after a long work day delivering pizza. It was the first I’d seen him all year. I stepped back and started to pull up my mask.
“No no, you’re good,” he assured me.
“Mask on or mask off,” I told him, “People masked and unmasked are giving me upset looks all up and down the street.”
“Oh, you will never succeed in pleasing everybody,” he assured me.
“Not while trying to navigating this brave new world.”
“Delivery customers ask me all day, ‘Aren’t you scared?’ But it’s not like we are spending the day indoors caring for people who are truly ill. No, anybody waiting for me outside on the street with a smile — handing them a pizza does not worry me.”
“My immediate worry this year has been eyeglasses fogging up. All winter, and with dusk and rain, often I couldn’t see my own feet and was scared of taking a fall; off a bus step or off the curb.”
“Now that scares me: all the pedestrians night and day, they avoid one another on the sidewalk by leaping into the street into my lane. Just today, two elderly ladies trying to get away from one another, both ran into traffic and one almost got hit by an SUV! No, we all have to think and make our choices. My sons, we made the decision as a family to let them go back to jujitsu class.”
“That’s great. They are such good respectful kids.”
“Well, they are at home or walking with their mother and me, or they are at the table doing homework, or they are in jujitsu lessons. We decided that was reasonable. The foundation is, we put our trust in one source, and that is God.”
“Sick or well, that is the place to trust.”
“See, when Jesus told us ‘The Father and I are one’ — well, if we live in Jesus, then the Father’s energy will be in us too as we go through our lives. Like you, for instance: you’re walking everywhere. Driving around, I see you and think ‘I do hope that she is not afraid this year.’ Because the way you are outdoors all the time, always so smiling and pleasant — why, you would make a terrible host for a virus!”
“God willing. That’s a great thing to hear. Clearly this was the conversation I was meant to wake up for today.”
“We can go through our lives being a curse, or a blessing to everyone we meet.”