Yesterday, a woman sitting across from me with beautiful, Star-Trek-prom-date hair, suddenly stood up and tore a piece of paper off the wall next to her desk. “I’ll be right back,” she told me. I waited and listened to Pink Floyd, then Cat Stevens, then Stevie Wonder on her radio. Very superstitious/writing on the wall.
When she returned, she sat down and handed me a copy of the Power Prayer, tacking her own copy back up, crooked, as before. “Are you a happy woman?” she asked me. “No matter what happens?” I shrug nodded. “Like me,” she smiled. “Stay happy.”
“When friends ask me how I’m ok?” she whispered so the person in the next cubicle couldn’t hear, “I tell them it’s easy: Satan is cruel and Jesus is kind, Satan is shallow and Jesus is deep, Satan is money and Jesus is worth, Satan is lust and Jesus is love…you know? Satan is nothing and Jesus is everything.” She twisted her mouth up. “It’s not religious. They can choose their own words.”
I nodded. I raised my children to find goodness in all people. “It’s there,” I promised. “In everyone.” Which is true, but it’s bad advice. I should have kept them safe.
The woman with shining, woven hair watched me quietly as I read:
“I declare that no evil shall come near my dwelling, my family, my work, my body or my thoughts…Satan, take your hands off God’s property”
Gravely, she held out a dish of Hershey’s Kisses. “Want some candy?”