Friday, February 24, 2012

Who was serving who?

The experience of the orientation will forever be a blessed memory. The couple I met were Muslim and middle-aged (37 not middle-aged, right?). I had to teach them how to use public transportation to be able to get to our agency and back home. I was worried that I might offend, not knowing their religious etiquette. Right away they put me at ease.

When I first arrived at their home, The mother answered the door crying.. Her family has only been here just under a month and she really misses her family back in her native country. I'm a hugger. So I did what came natural to me and I wrapped my arms around her and let her cry. After about 2-3 minutes she began kissing me on each cheek and saying Alla had sent me to her. I then told her that I was from the IRC (which ironically is called the International RESCUE Committee). 

We got on the bus and headed downtown. All I was thinking about was not offending. Making sure that I did not accidentally nudge let alone touch her husband. All the while she kept talking and talking and talking.

She told me of how it came to be that she and her family ended up in the US. It is a very spellbound sacred history. My heart broke for her.

We made it to the IRC.

Her husband who spoke very little to no English, was determined to be able to find his way back to there place. Especially after I had told them that they would have to show how to get back home. He knew what he was doing. :-)

We talked a lot. When I told her I was married and had children, she just shook her head and kept saying, "Nah, nah, nah, nah, that's not true."  She kept saying that I was too young to have children as old as I did.  She also would not believe me when I told her I was not Arabic.  It was fun to talk with her and she even danced and sung with me on the corner.  She was a very HAPPY woman.

She grew fond of me and wanted me to stay for lunch.  Unfortunately, I could not.  As I was saying goodbye, she kissed me again several times on each cheek and cupped my face and told me that when she looks into my eyes, she can see my heart.  That she can feel the warmth of my heart and that it brings her close to me.  And to my surprise, her husband grab my hand and patted it and then touched his chest and nodded repeatedly.  I wasn't nervous anymore.

I have never had anyone who has only met me for 3 hours say such beautiful and kind things to or about me.  I was only doing a service.  But I left lifted and blessed, having been served.

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