I bought an enormous world map at a thrift store a few days ago. In my efforts to instill a love of maps and places around the world (that I have yet to visit) in my kids, I wanted our map to hang conspicuously in our home for daily referencing. I can look at maps for hours. Hours.
My checker at the register was a beautiful black woman from another country. We spoke, made small talk. She had to check on the price. As we waited, she perused my map. There were flags along the bottom of the map of major countries. After paying, I asked her where she was from. Still looking at the flags, she whispered, Haiti. I asked if she'd made it back since she'd been in the US. She had. The majority of her family was still there. I asked how they were, if they were okay after the earthquake. She paused, still looking at my map...her sister and cousin were killed.
There are moments when "I'm so sorry," doesn't seem like enough. This was one of those. I didn't know what to say, but I was so sorry. After she answered she turned away, busying herself with extra hangers, things nearby the register. She obviously didn't want to talk about it. The conversation just ended. I took my map and walked away.
What I really wanted to do was go behind that register and hug her. I felt sad. Our parting was so abrupt, unfinished (to me). She never looked up. All I could do was pray for her, knowing that eventhough I couldn't help her, God could and would.
I still wish I'd hugged her...