A Pear in Bondage

Pear, Light, Shallow, Depth Of Field

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I was in the supermarket a few weeks ago, picking up the ingredients I needed for a salad recipe I was eager to try. The line was long. Luckily, I wasn’t in a rush that day.

A woman of a certain age was standing in front of me. As her groceries made their way towards the cashier, a pear separated from the pack and its stem became trapped in the conveyor belt. Working gently, I detached it, keeping the stem intact.

“Excuse me,” I said, returning the pear to its owner. She had no idea it had run amok, and seemed delighted to have it back.

“Thank you!”

“Your pear was stuck, but now it’s free,” I added.

“You’ve liberated my pear? Well, I guess the women’s movement isn’t dead after all!”

We both savored the cleverness of her reply.

I loved this exchange. It had charm and wit, reference to an important social issue, the opportunity to return a lost object, the connection between two women of different generations, and the sweetness of a particularly fulsome pear. I wanted to hug this woman and tell her she’d made my day, but I feared the groans from a long line peopled with folks already getting antsy. So I just thanked her for giving me a great story to tell as she went on her way.

Last night, while washing the laundry, my sweater sleeve got stuck in the dryer door. Gently, I worked it free without tearing the wool. As I headed back upstairs, “You’ve liberated your sweater? Well, I guess the women’s movement isn’t dead after all!” came flying out of my mouth.  I couldn’t help myself.

I laughed, and it made me wonder about all the different reasons God puts people in our path – to comfort or challenge us, befriend or upend us, bless or befuddle us. But in that moment it dawned on me that sometimes, the best reason – maybe even the only reason – is to give us a good story.  And on most days, that’s more than enough.

P.S. Check out my new essay on The Wisdom Daily http://thewisdomdaily.com/why-i-honor-the-souls-of-our-belongings/.  Please like and share!