My husband Mike and I started to take the dog out for a walk. Our neighbor, who is a bus driver, came home just as we were leaving. He told us that all the lights on this side of town were out. Even told us the intersection where the outage began.
We continued on our walk. Every neighbor we passed made eye contact and then started to talk. "Do you have power?" And then the conversation would continue, each person sharing what information they had.
We went to Meijer to buy some dry ice for the freezer. Sure enough, there were a few people approaching the ice boxes. We all looked at each other questioningly. Yup. Each one had no power. As Mike and another man pulled out bagged blocks of dry ice someone noticed that the price was per pound....and the bag felt a lot heavier than a pound. As we went through the you-scan line Mike turned around and confirmed for the other man. "Yup. It's fifteen dollars." The man smiled and nodded. Just as he had thought.
I said to Mike, "People are talking to each other." It was so pleasant. There was a feeling of camaraderie. We were all in this together. We were verbally linking arms. Neighbors talking to neighbors. Customers talking to customers. This is valuable. This is good. Talking to those we don't know well, or maybe even don't know at all, is a way of expressing Christian charity. It's a little thing perhaps. A smile. A kind word. It's a way of providing just a little bit of heart warmth to another. A way of recognizing Jesus in another.
With pillar candles left over from Anne's wedding lit in all the rooms on the main floor, the power came back on at about 11:00 PM. It was a relief. And it was a blessing to have had the gears of normal life shifted just a little bit.