Sunday, January 14, 2007
Hashgocho Protis:

Every erev shabbos I try to call to a friend I don't get to speak with much. And this past Friday, I discussed this with the friend I called. We agreed: there's many people we like, admire, and enjoy. But, practically speaking, we have to stick with our chevra.

The woman I spoke with I like A LOT. She's funny, bold, and generous. She's also touchy-feely, like me. She confided that she's having a major health crisis.

Heart: "I'm going out right now to buy her a card and flowers."
Mind: No way! It's erev shabbos! You are so not!
Heart: "Yeah, but wouldn't she love getting flowers and a card, all things considered?"
Mind: Aren't you being impulsive? That's not the way a chossid behaves. And what's your real motivation, anyway? Are you really wanting to get her those things to further cement your friendship? Isn't this really all about you?
Heart: Okay, maybe there's a little selfishness going on here. But still, I think it would be a really nice thing. And don't we learn in chassidus that it's important to do the right thing, even if the intentions are wrong?
Heart and Mind: Off to Publix!

So I get there and I spent a really long time picking a card. Finally, I found the right one. It read something like, "Even though now is a hard time, and you're so anxious, know that your Higher Power is protecting you, yada yada." It was new-agey, yet very right on. I put it in the shopping basket. Then, I found the perfect bouquet. Lively, pretty, healthy. Just right for my friend.

And then I heard her. On her cell phone. Right there, not two feet away from me. Examining the avocados. I snuck up behind her and rubbed her back. (Mind: you damn well better hope that's her!) She turned and smiled. "You know why I'm here?" I said, "I'm buying you flowers and a card!" "Really, honey." "Yes! Here they are!" She laughed. She read the card and admired the flowers. We gave each other a delicious hug, the kind that involves back-rubbing. And then I put the flowers back in the bucket and the card back on the shelf.

She had received them, after all.


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