This morning, I went to the local variety store to buy some Mike and Ike candy. I was second in line, behind a very determined woman who had great aspirations to win the lottery. No exaggeration – I waited ten minutes while this woman bought a handfull of different lottery tickets. She demonstrated a well rehearsed system of choosing numbers and assertively demanded that the store clerk show his entire selection of tickets.
I suppose that if I hadn’t been so fascinated with this transaction, I would have been rather annoyed at the waiting time. Apparently, the four people behind me weren’t so fascinated. After a few minutes, the man behind me yelled, “it’s just a ticket – hurry up, lady.” to which the woman quickly turned her head and snapped back, “it’s not just a ticket, sir – it’s my life.”
Her comment hushed everyone in line. What could anyone say to THAT?
A couple of minutes later , the lady looked at me and continued, “My husband doesn’t know that I buy all these tickets every week. I want to buy him a truck and move out west but I never win anything.”
I smiled back but was speechless. Perhaps she was looking to me for comfort but I’ve never bought a lottery ticket in my life so I’m not familar with “lottery ticket lingo” or etiquette. I picked up some tickets that her coat sleeve had swept off the counter and when I handed them to the lady, she said something that I will never forget.
“Are you as disillusioned with life as I am?”
The door was open. Wide open. She waited for my response.
I said, “I can tell you that there have been many times in my life that I have felt really disappointed or sad but no, I’m not disillusioned because I believe that what the Bible says about life is relevant and true.”
Silence…and it felt like it lasted forever.
Then she spoke.
“I would never have asked you that question if I thought you would actually answer it.”
We both laughed and it sliced through the awkwardness of the moment.
“But thanks”…and then she was gone.
What would you have said?
Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. 1 Peter 3:15