Yesterday, an old lady came out of her house calling “sister, sister”. She was addressing me. Yet, I do NOT live in the Bronx or anywhere else where such a form of address is (apparently) normal. Here it only refers to nuns. I was standing on the pavement, looking at this old lady as she came up to me, wondering what on earth to expect (and half expecting a previously hidden-from-view nun to pop out from behind a tree!). “Would you please unknot my scarf?” she asked “and undo these coat buttons? I’ve broken my arm and can’t manage it on my own.” I did as she asked and before I knew it she’d gone back inside her house and shut the door.
I felt a little like little red riding hood, or some other fairy tale story figure. Yet, it was such a beautiful and unexpected thing. An old lady, apparently living alone, needing help, and just coming out and asking for it.
How many times do we not ask for help because we’re afraid what someone else will think, or say, or do, or not do?