“ Mom! Why can’t I just wait in the car?” Angie whined.
“Because you need to get some sun and fresh air. That’s why! It’s such a beautiful day. It’s going to be so much fun!”
Speaking to me, the women asked if I would mind if her daughter shared the bench while she purchased tickets for the cruise.
“ Not at all.” As I spoke, Angie whispered her disapproval. “ Mom, you’re leaving me with a stranger?”
“She looks like a very nice lady.” She told Angie. “ Besides, I can see you from the dock. I shouldn’t be too long.”
As we sat in silence, I sensed Angie’s displeasure. “ Not too excited about the cruise, huh?”
“ Nope” was all the reply I got. Okay, this is going to be a challenge. “ I always enjoyed doing things with my parents. What are you, about twelve?”
“Thirteen!” She snapped.
“ Oh, sorry. Not much on sightseeing, huh?” Silence. “Are you staying the night here in the area or traveling back home after the cruise?”, trying to make conversation.
Her reply was cold but at least a full sentence. “ We’re staying at the Motel 8. Tom Bodett can leave all the lights on he wants and I still couldn’t tell you if the rooms were nice, so don’t ask, okay!”
It took a second for it to sink in. “ Angie I’m so sorry, I didn’t notice you were blind. I just thought - well I don’t know what I was thinking.”
“ Yeah, whatever.” Then even more sarcastic, “ You just sit here and enjoy all this beauty and I’ll wait for mom to come and get me out of your way.”
“ You’re not in my way, Angie.” Pausing, I then asked “ Have you ever had your sight or have you been blind since birth?”
“Birth” Her tone softening.
“They say that the blind have a better sense of their surroundings”, trying to smooth things over.
In a bitter spew Angie answered. “Well! THEY that say that aren’t blind! Are THEY!- What’s taking Mom so long?”
“ Angie, are you a Christian?” Again silence. Finally She answered.
“What has that got to do with anything?”
“Everything! Do you believe Jesus gave His life so that you could be saved.”
“Yes.” She said. “ But what has that to do with me being blind?”
“ It has nothing to do with you being blind but it has everything to do with you one day seeing.”
“What? That makes no sense.”.
“ It’s like this.” trying my best to explain. “ When we get to heaven we will all be perfect. It will be the first time that you will see all the colors of God’s glory. Others have seen the colors and the spectacle of Gods creations. For you, it will be your first glimpse of all it’s beauty and splendor.”
Showing some interest now, Angie questioned “ Do you really think that’s the way it will be?”
“Angie.” I said. “ I not only think it, I believe it with all my heart and soul.”
She asked about different colors. “Mom says grass is green but can’t describe green from brown.”
“ Well.” I said. “ The only way I could .......let’s see..sorry.”
“ Not a problem.” She said. “Go ahead”
“ Anyway, have you ever walked barefoot in the yard when the grass was tall and cool? It feels smooth and silky on your toes, right?”
“ Yeeeah” she drew out.
“ That’s green.” I told her. “And late in the summer after a long hot dry spell when you walk through the yard again and the grass feels dry and brittle? That would be brown. Make any sense to you?”
“ Oh, I understand now.” Excited. “Green is fresh and alive and brown would be dead or withered.”
“ Well, I don’t know that I’d say everything brown is dead. How about we say it’s... dull?”, hoping to keep things on the lighter side.
“ Looks like you two hit it off pretty well!” announced Angie’s mother when she returned. “Ready to go?”
Angie stood and traced her hands along the back of the bench towards me. She bent and gave me a hug and whispered into my ear “God bless you.”
“ He has.” I answered, patting her on the hand.
I sat for a short time enjoying the activity around me and the smells of the river. Then from my bag I retrieved my wand and telescoped it to it’s full length and began tapping and sweeping my way the four blocks back to my apartment.
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