Wandering the aisles at Target always leads to a cart filled with many food, household and clothing items. Checking out last week in a long line offered a slice of life I wish had not happened.
I noticed two little girls sitting on a bench in front of the check out line two rows ahead. These sweet children were seated side by side, chatting non-stop. I wondered if they were sisters or cousins or best friends. The youngest was bald, making me wonder if she was a cancer patient. She was adorably clad in a purple top, jeans, and black Chuck Taylors swinging vigorously under the bench.
Another child, who looked about five or six, also captured my attention. She and her mother were in the line closest to the bench. This little girl kept pointing to the bald child, pulling her mother's arm, saying loud enough for me to hear two lanes over, "Look at that little girl. She has no hair!"
She repeated the sentence several times, always pointing to the child.. Her mother was busy, paying for her merchandise, collecting all the plastic bags, oblivious to her daughter's remarks. .
I noticed the little bald child's face change from happy, smiling, engaged in conversation to silent wrenching. With every remark and emphatic gesture, her face twisted revealing the canvas of her heart.
Eventually the mother finished, pushing the bulging cart by the bench ignoring the pain of human life resting on a bench in a busy store.
I wondered if the trip to Target was a break from cancer treatment or a way to get "a breath of fresh air" for the sick child. She surely carried more emotional pain out of the store than when she entered. Perhaps she was used to stares, comments and pointed fingers as part of the path a cancer patient walks.
Feeling compassion for both children, I prayed, "Lord, in your mercy care for both of these little girls, the one who is sick and the one who pointed. Amen."