Guess where I went today. If you said “Fred Meyer”, you would be correct. And a loyal reader (for which I thank you).
I had intended to do my giving at the mall after going to an afternoon movie. But as we were parking the car at the theater I realized I had left my purse in the entryway of the house. My phone, wallet, hundred, everything – left behind. I felt momentarily unmoored and then got a grip on myself and was able to enjoy the film.
Afterwards I reconnected with my hundred and headed off walking to Fred Meyer. Inside the entrance was a table with a sign that said, “Enter for a chance to win a $100 gift card!” It was a promotion for the Oregonian, our local newspaper.
I stepped right up and had a lovely chat with the young man behind the table. He wanted to know where I buy my Sunday paper. “I have it delivered,” I answered proudly. That was evidently the right answer, because he practically jumped over the table to thank me. Then he gave me a ticket to fill out. “First name and phone number. We’ll only call you if you win.”
I loved the symmetry of it: me, with a hundred dollar bill in my pocket to give away. I told him I was feeling lucky.
There was one thing I needed from the store: black shoe polish. This was quite a splurge, because I actually still have some. Okay, so it’s a dried up wedge that I’ve had for decades. But still.
I forked over my $2.00 (that’s what a tin of shoe polish costs! Can you believe it?). As I was leaving, I had my eye out for prospective homes for my hundred. There were lots of people milling about and I found myself ruling them out one by one. Too fancy looking. Too busy talking on the phone (not that it’s always stopped me). Looks mean. Too young. Too old. Oy.
Then I saw a couple at the Free Gift Card table; they were talking animatedly with the young man. I couldn’t quite hear what they were saying but it seemed like he was trying to talk them into something.
I caught up with the two of them as they were leaving the store. “Did you buy one?” I asked. “I mean, did you put in one of those tickets?” “Yeah,” the man answered. He and his wife turned to look at me. “Are you feeling lucky?” I asked. “Yes!” said the man. “I am feeling lucky today! Did you do it?” I said I had and that I was feeling lucky too.
My mind was made up. “Well,” I said. “I know for a fact that it is your lucky day.” “How do you know that?” he wondered. “Do you deal in energy or something?” This made me chuckle. “No, I just want you to have this.” I held out the hundred and he took it.
“This is real?” he asked. “Yes, it’s real!” The two of them stared, then the man shook his head. “And you want us to have this? For sure? Praise God!”
I was conscious of people walking past as he, and then his wife, reached out to give me a hug. “Thank you, Jesus!”
They told me their names and I said mine was Jill. “Jack and Jill!” quipped Linda, and we all had a good laugh.
As they headed toward their car, I could see them smiling and talking. I suppose this is what a lucky day looks like.
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