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I met God at Costco

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By Mark Azzara

Dear Friend,

I met God the other day.

She was, I estimate, 3 years old. Standing in the grocery cart manned by her dad, who was just standing still for a moment near the snack bar, the child did something utterly stunning.

She waved at each passerby who was heading for the door, smiled broadly and said, “Hi.”

And everyone who heard her replied with a wave, a smile, and their own version of “Hi.”

Rarely do you see this kind of disarming friendship and affection. The child didn’t seem to care if the person noticed and responded (and a few, who didn’t hear her above the din continued walking). She just kept it up. A wave, a smile and “Hi.” To everyone, bar none.

What struck me with equal force, however, was the instantaneous change among those who did hear and respond. Their dour or expressionless faces lit up. A smile, a wave, and their own version of “Hi.” The response was as irrepressible as the gift was unexpected.

I witnessed miracle after miracle occurring right in front of me as I stood in the snack-bar line. It was the resurrection miracle of people being raised from the dead – the raising of joyful, kind, appreciative people who had been buried alive beneath a pile of their own little problems, rushed schedules and/or various other distractions.

God is the doer of miracles. And to see customer after customer change in a flash from harried to joyful was truly a miracle.

I wonder if those deeply blessed customers will remember that child’s greeting some day when life is hard – remember it, smile once again and be thankful for that gift. That would be a miracle, too – another sign of God in their midst.

All God’s blessings – Mark

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Mark Azzara

About Mark Azzara

Mark Azzara spent 45 years in print journalism, most of them with the Waterbury Republican in Connecticut, where he was a features writer with a special focus on religion at the time of his retirement. He also worked for newspapers in New Haven and Danbury, Conn. At the latter paper, while sports editor, he won a national first-place writing award on college baseball. Azzara also has served as the only admissions recruiter for a small Catholic college in Connecticut and wrote a self-published book on spirituality, "And So Are You." He is active in his church and facilitates two Christian study groups for men. Azzara grew up in southern California, graduating from Cal State Los Angeles. He holds a master's degree from the University of Connecticut.

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