I wonder what the bank assistant is thinking. As she types our information into her computer, she’s listening to the conversation my friend and I have been having as we sit in the soft chairs across from her desk.
My friend: How many years have we known each other? 12?
Me: Actually it’s been longer than that. About 20 years.
My friend: We’ve known each other about 12 years, right?
Me: More than that—20 years.
My friend: How long have we known each other? 12 years, right?
Me: Nope. 20.
The bank assistant prints out the paperwork. My friend signs her name.
My friend now starts in on her:
Do you like Elvis Presley? I like Charlie Pride. My mother liked Charlie Pride. Do you still have a mother? You’re lucky you have a mother. I wish I still had a mother.
The assistant smiles. Today is the first day she’s met us. But I’m guessing she won’t soon forget us. I wonder if she’ll go home tonight and tell her partner about today’s conversations.
Thirty minutes have passed. We’ve finally finished our business. We stand up to leave. I look the assistant eye to eye and genuinely thank her for her help and her patience.
She hands me her card. She tells me to call her if I need anything, anything at all.
She smiles again. I do, too.
In the future when I have moments of doubt—are there still kind strangers in this crazy, crazy world???—I will think of this bank assistant. Of her extraordinary gift of grace to us on an ordinary Thursday afternoon in an ordinary bank office when I walked in with my extraordinary friend.
My friend’s attention has again returned to me.
My friend: We’ve known each other 12 years, right?
Me: Sure. Can you believe it? 12 years and counting.
Where have you seen extraordinary grace on an ordinary day? Share your thoughts in the comments.
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