Today was the coolest experience. I drove into the pharmacy parking lot to pick up a prescription for my daughter. I was finishing a conversation on my Bluetooth, so I sat in my car for a bit after parking. Right across from me was a man who pulled up into a handicapped spot. He drove a sporty black car. As I talked, I watched this guy from the driver’s seat start to grab pieces of equipment from his car, pulling them into the front seat. Was it a walker? I couldn’t tell. Then I saw a wheel and then another. I saw a dog looking like part pit bull sitting in the passenger seat and I wondered if it was a service dog. Eventually, this man finished putting together all his pieces and I see him move himself from the front seat into a wheelchair right outside the driver’s door. He grabs shoes and puts them on his feet.
He starts to wheel himself toward the pharmacy and his dog watches him, asking, “Hey! Where ya going?” I say goodbye to my sister and walk inside the store only thinking that this is my last stop before I can get home. It’s been a long day and this is my second stop to pick up medication for people. I make my way to the back of the store and I notice this man down at the end of the counter at the drop off area. He is dropping off a prescription for himself I gather from the conversation. I approach the other end of the counter and give my daughter’s name. I thought it was one prescription I was picking up but it looks more like five or six.
As I’m finishing up, this young man wheels over behind me and I realize I know him. I ask the pharmacist if this is someone who used to work here and he says yes and reminds me of his name. And then I remember… this was the mildest tempered young man who waited on me so many times over the years. I finish my transaction and turn and wait while he finishes a conversation with another customer.
His wheelchair puts me in comfortable territory. He remembers my last name from old times. I tell him how cool it was to watch him put his wheelchair all together in the front seat of his car and what an improvement that is over my memories of lugging a very heavy wheelchair out of the back of my car for my daughter. We talk a bit more about his car and how he’s adapted it since he suffered a motorcycle accident which left him a paraplegic. I make note of the smile on his face. He’s adjusting to his new life. More than anything, I was glad to tell him that I missed him and that it was so good to see him.
It’s days like this that make me very grateful for all we’ve endured. We cannot compare stories. This young man has suffered tremendous loss. So have we, but our stories are very different. I cannot understand everything he experiences day to day. But our experiences cross over even if only a little and it feels like I am not intruding; I may enter into this discussion with him because God has allowed. Interestingly, I met a couple earlier today where the husband was recently diagnosed with Parkinson’s. I gave them a copy of my book, God’s book really, which I pray God uses to give them a little comfort.
Thank you, God, that you use everything for our good. Romans 8:28 NIV: “And we know that God works all things together for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to His purpose. How are you seeing God work all things together for good for you?