It’s Saturday afternoon at the post office and I am waiting in the queue with a parcel under my arm when the woman behind the counter calls me over.
‘Hey, Honey, hi,’ she says, ‘watcha got for me today, huh?’
‘Hello,’ I say, ‘I have a parcel that needs to go to Australia,’
‘Okay, Sweety,’ the woman says, holding her arms out toward me as if she is going to hug me, ‘Why dontcha let me have a look at it’?
I hold out the parcel and the woman takes it from me and then, cheerfully, starts asking me questions.
‘You know what it weighs, Sweety?’ she says as she tilts her head and turns the parcel around in her hands.
‘I’m afraid not,’ I tell her.
‘Okay, hun, let me just get some measurements on it then,’ she says, putting down the parcel and taking out a tape measure.
Watching the woman, who wears small wire-rimmed glasses and whose long whispy pink hair is tainted by several inches of gray root, I feel compelled to tell her how pleasant she is.
‘You are the most pleasant post office worker,’ I tell her, ‘usually they’re so mean spirited,’
‘Well,’ says the woman as she adds some strips of clear packaging tape to the places on my parcel that are not secure, ‘that’s because of him upstairs,’
I tilt my head back and look up for a window to the manager’s office or a CCTV.
But all I see are stained beige ceiling batts.
So I look back at the woman who suddenly, like an ostrich, darts her head toward me and says-‘It’s the Lord. My Lord and saviour’.
Then she winks and smiles and nods her head.
‘Oh,’ I say, ‘I see,’
‘Yeh, Sweety,’ she says as she does post office things with my parcel, ‘I accepted Jesus Christ into my life,’
‘Oh,’ I say again.
Then the woman, whose name badge says ‘Sharon’ tells me that previous to her acceptance of Jesus Christ as her saviour, she had led a life of sin and misery.
‘Oh, dear,’ I say.
Then, as I am taking my debit card from my wallet in preparation for payment, Sharon tells me that if I wanted, I could have Jesus as my saviour, too.
‘Oh,’ I say, ‘how?’
‘Now, Sweety, what’s in your parcel…documents, liquid, any flammables?’ Sharon asks me.
I tell Sharon no, none of the above, and Sharon writes something on a customs label, and then, without even looking up from her work, says-
‘I invite Jesus to become the Lord of life,’
‘Pardon,’ I say.
‘You can just say that after me, Hun, ‘I invite Jesus to become the Lord of my life,’
Sharon, who is now pressing buttons on a calculator and writing numbers on a pad, goes quiet, and there is an uncomfortable silence, so I break it by saying- ‘And, so, um, what happens after that?’
‘Jesus will be working in your life,’ she smiles and tells me, ‘so…, ‘I invite Jesus to become the Lord of my life,’.
I look around the post office, at the other people in line, and then back at Sharon and quietly repeat the words ‘I invite Jesus to become the Lord of my life,’
‘To rule and reign in my heart from this day forward,’ says Sharon, who is nodding her head up and down and peeling the backing from my customs label.
‘To rule and reign in my heart,’ I say, twisting and turning my debit card over and over with my fingertips.
‘Please send your holy spirit to help me obey You, and do your will for the rest of my life,’ says Sharon, who is now making a red mark on my parcel with a large rubber stamp.
‘Please send your holy spirit to help me obey you,’ I quietly repeat, ‘and do your will for the rest of my life,’
‘Hun,’ says Sharon, sliding the parcel and pen back over the counter toward me, ‘Hun, please put your name and address up top there on the left,’
I take the pen and parcel and write my name and address in the top left hand corner and then slide the parcel and pen back across the desk to Sharon, who leans to her left and puts the parcel in a large fabric bag.
Then, out of nowhere, Sharon closes her eyes, bows her head, holds her own hands and says -‘In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen,’
I look at Sharon for a few moments willing her to raise her head.
But she doesn’t.
And so after a few moments I say- ‘In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen’
Then Sharon opens her eyes and looks at me, and not knowing what else to say, I say thank you.
‘You are very welcome, hun,’ she says, smiling, ‘Now is there anything else I can do for ya today?’