Tuesday, March 22, 2016

the vest

It happened at Target.

The woman on the mobility scooter and I were both in the clearance section. I was impatient to browse through a section of clothes, but her scooter was blocking most of the aisle. I waited and looked elsewhere until I had nowhere else to look; then I situated myself at the end of her aisle and perused the items near the furthest edge of the rack as she searched in the middle.

“Does this look alright?”

The woman on the scooter was now sporting a luscious faux fur vest, one of the ones my sister and I had laughed about on previous trips to the store. But she was smiling. She was hopeful.

“Yeah,” I heard myself say. “It’s nice.”

I felt my cheeks growing warm with the half-truth.

But I couldn’t bear to say anything else.

The woman adjusted the vest, patted her middle.

“Not too tight?”

“No,” I said, shaking my head. “Not too tight.”

She looked so happy, wearing that vest. 
She gave me a small smile of relief, of confidence.
Of vulnerability.


“No problem.”

“It’s only $10, you know?”

“Yeah, they’ve been having a lot of good deals.”

She was so kind. I felt an instant heap of guilt for my impatience.

Then, thoughtfully:

“I used to ski, you know,” she said. “I loved skiing and the outdoors…”

The woman trailed off. 
She gestured vaguely at her body, which was a little plump and 
entirely dependent on the scooter for getting around.

I was stung.

“I’m sorry,” I said, not knowing what else to say.

But, then:

“I give it to God.”


"I give it to God.
Because of what He did.
Because He died on the cross for us, you know."

Who was this remarkable lady?

Overcome with emotion and feeling like I might cry, I nodded.

“Amen,” I said. “I believe it.”

“I do, too.”

I’m not really sure what it was that prompted that woman to speak to me that day. 
I’m sure that on the surface, it would appear that she wanted nothing more than the opinion of a younger woman on her fabulous black vest.

But the spirit of this particular woman and the strength of her conviction makes me believe that ours was no chance meeting. I wish I had asked her name. I wish I had thanked my sweet grandmother-for-a-moment in my neighborhood Target.

She was beautiful.


  1. Aw Erin..this made me want to cry. It made me think of my grandmother, that sounds like something she would have said.

    It's really the little things, isn't it?

    Thank you for sharing this sweet story!!


    1. It made me teary, too! This lady was something else. Glad you liked it! :)

  2. What a beautiful glimpse of humanity and grace! Thank you for sharing. It's sad how honest beauty in humans so often catches us off guard because it's not what we're used to, isn't it?I think you responded perfectly though. And I think you're probably that woman to others more than you know.:) More love, more courage, more testimony of Christ. The world needs it. <3

    1. You're welcome! You're right, it is sad. But it's always wonderful to encounter someone who's willing to be candid with a stranger. Thank you for this kind comment! I really needed to hear it. :)

  3. I like how you write your post, we feel the emotion your event and you have a talent for writing !

  4. Aw this is a sweet experience! Thanks for sharing. ^ ^


    1. No problem! I wrote this as soon as I got home from Target. I felt like it needed to be shared. ^-^


Go with grace.