“A John” (Part 5)
“Can I pray with you?”
Damn! Why couldn’t he have said pray for you? Even before I gave up on religion, praying wasn’t something I did with anyone.
“Would that be okay?”
I nodded, once again aware of the passing cars.
He lowered his cross. “Is it okay if I touch you?”
At his tone, which clearly said he would understand if I refused, my hesitation vanished. This was Jesus after all and a little more human (some would say divine) interaction is something we could all benefit from. “Absolutely.”
“Can I ask your name?”
Without moving any closer, he placed his left thumb on my forehead and began praying. “Lord, please look down on your daughter Annie. Bless her, take care of her, take care of her family. Thank you for sending her to me today. Enter her heart, let her know your love.”
At first, my thoughts were clear, because every one of my senses were singing with self-consciousness. As he kept going, however, I lost track of his words. My heart rate slowed and I quit thinking about what Mom or anyone else might think about this impromptu blessing.
He finished, once again lifting the cross and whispering amen.
We stood quiet for a moment and then he thanked me. Turning to go, I asked his name.
“Me?” I thought for a moment he wasn’t going to answer, but then he said, “I’m a John.”
“A” John. How was that different from plain John? I had no idea, but clearly there was some distinction. No matter. I held out my hand, saying, “It’s been a pleasure meeting you, John.” And because he knew I was sincere he grasped my palm, holding it for what would have seemed, in the real world, a breath too long.
“Take care, Annie.”
Climbing back into my car, I felt my face flaming. Forestalling Mom’s questions, I handed her the ten dollars, tossing the groceries into the back seat.
“Didn’t he want it?” she asked.
“No? What kind of a nut is he?”
“He’s not a nut,” I replied. “He’s a John.”
Or so he said. I’m thinking he was a Jesus.