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Posted On 2022-07-14 In Covenant Life

They still exist. Three names and faces in the gratitude diary

H3M, Maria Fischer •

They still exist. Those neighbors, those people, those citizens you meet once in a lifetime at the checkout in the supermarket or in the parking lot… and who land and stay in the gratitude diary and in your heart and are “to blame” for the strength with which you face life and the challenges (and yes, the annoying ones). —

Wednesday: shopping after work, quickly something for the office and drinks, salad and fruit and chocolate for the visit to the nursing home and… The line in front of the only two open checkouts is long, it is hot and it’s crowded. Reaching into the handbag, fright, rummage – The EC card and the credit card are (hopefully) at home, but now…not with me. How much cash do I have with me? Thirty euros, and the bottle deposit… Too late to get out of line, I start sorting, calculating, the cashier does the math. And then this young man behind me, in his early twenties, says to the cashier and to me, “It’s all right, put the rest on me, I’ll pay it for you.” That is when the world stands still for a little eternity. “Is there really such a thing as you?”, I ask him as I pull the missing five euros out of my pants pocket. I do not even know his name. Or do. Jesus. Jesus is wearing a HardRock Café shirt today.

Sunday: car keys, bag, another bag, handbag and in my mind still at the heavy sick call. Somehow everything is tangled and so am I. “Can I help you?” asks someone behind me who has just pushed his car into the parking space. And together we get untangled … and laugh. We have a stretch the same way. When I arrive at the front door, he goes on, says goodbye, and says: “We have to be there for each other, it doesn’t hurt. If you ever need anything, just let me know. Have a nice Sunday!

Tuesday: Suddenly I think of this young man, after I have been trying for an hour to move a broken office chair down three floors. Tomorrow morning is bulky waste. The thing cannot be disassembled (at least not by a technically untalented person like me), and it is too wide and too heavy, and there’s no elevator. Ringing the doors of the neighbors in the house did nothing. And then I stand in front of the door on the street, remember this encounter on Sunday, wait … and just approach the man coming out of the house diagonally across the street with daughter and dog. But sure, gladly, if you have time until after the walk? Forty minutes later he rings the doorbell, is quite embarrassed when I thank him with a bottle of wine, carries the heavy part cheerfully and casually down the stairs and calls out to me: “If you ever need anything, Schwarz from across the street, just ring the bell, we’re neighbors!”

Gosh… yes. They still exist, the good people.

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