Never Ignore an Angel
I’m not a very religious person. On the relig-o-meter of 1 (doesn’t believe) and 10 (zealous believer) I’m probably a 4. I am spiritual, but it’s hard for me to belong to an organized religious group and not feel judged in some way. But that’s my problem. I 100% believe in a higher power and the possibility of receiving messages from (fill in the blank: God, universe, angel). So why did I ignore what I now believe was a whisper from an angel – at the grocery store, no less?
Here’s what happened: I was in the checkout line, minding my own business, flipping through a gossip rag. The elderly woman in front of me was having difficulties checking out. She remembered she forgot something and scurried off before anyone could volunteer to get the item for her. And by scurry off I mean, walk slowly. I gazed at the other checkout lanes, all packed, so it was pointless to move.
I felt the cashier’s presence by my side and looked up from the magazine. She thanked me for my patience. I smiled and said “no problem” even though it was a problem. I was annoyed, but what choice did I have? My real hope was that the elderly woman didn’t come back and then write a check for her groceries, delaying the process even longer (she did), but what the cashier told me hit like a verbal earthquake.
“That poor, sweet woman was raped in her apartment at her senior living facility a couple of weeks ago. One of those nice ones down the street. By this sick, disgusting employee who the company tried to protect. Thanks again for your patience.”
My jaw dropped from the horrific story that broke every Hippa law out there. I had no business knowing this and yet, now I did. When the woman returned with her yogurt, I didn’t mean to, but I gave her one of those pathetic smiles that said, I’m so sorry. Take all the time in the world. Please don’t let this happen to me or anyone I know.”
I checked out in a daze and drove home consumed with thoughts of the woman. I chose the fasted route home that had a roundabout. I hate roundabouts, but I was in a hurry to get home and be safe from the cruel world. I passed a slow moving truck, irritated they weren’t traveling at the posted speed limit. As we rounded the water fountain in separate lanes, the other driver decided to take a right turn from the left lane (the left lane!) and clipped me going ten miles per hour, causing a couple thousand dollars in damages.
Obviously I’m grateful no one was hurt, and after three months of both insurances companies denying responsibility, things worked out in my favor, but it was three months of recriminations, realizing this had been my fault on a different level. I had been warned before the accident to be patient.
Twice I had been thanked by the cashier for my patience. And then I get into a wreck because I’m impatient? Serves me right. And yes, a lot of people would consider this a coincidence, and maybe it was, but what if it wasn’t? What if that was my guardian angel (or hers) trying to give me a heads up and I completely ignored it? How many other signs have I missed?
What’s the takeaway? I’m not sure because it’s a case of “could-a, would-a, should-a.” Of course, next time, if an angel whispers into my ear, I will try to pay better attention. It would be helpful, however, if she could be a little more assertive like blow into my ear or make the tabloid fall into my basket. That way I’ll be sure to get the message. At least I hope and pray I do.