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The Encounter

The unnamed stranger claimed to be a traveler, but why was there a sense of the familiar about him? I don’t think I’d met him before. I think I would remember those deep brown eyes and those waves of dark hair. It looked as if he’d recently traveled from someplace sunny and warm the way his skin glowed from the inside out. But he was still familiar to me, I thought as we moved up in line to place our coffee orders. “You don’t have to worry about your job at Kroger...” his deep voice startled me from my contemplation about his origins. “That’s it!” I thought. “He’s a customer!” I was a little disappointed at the mundaneness of my realization.

“A chai latte, please,” I told the barista. “And your daughter Aubrey will make friends at school. And you should go to the community college instead of doing classes online...” I spun around at his words, trepidation and amazement competing for my attention in my head. Wait, what? How did he know so much about me? I’ve never even told my best friend Sam or my family that I was considering college!! Did I have a stalker?  “No. You have nothing to fear from me. I am not a stalker.” He can read minds?? This was getting creepier by the minute. He chuckled. “God told me to talk to you. Everything I just told you is because He loves you so much!” I felt peace with his words. The creepiness was gone. “He told you to talk” I pointed at my chest, bewildered. “Yes! Isn’t it cool? Every time He tells me to do something, I’m just as amazed as you! He uses ME to show how He loves us?” It was his turn to point at his chest. “Are you from around here?” I asked tentatively, reaching out a hand towards him in greeting. “No. I really am a traveler just passing home is far away. And I can’t wait to get back there...” There was that light in his eyes again. I turned to leave, the coffee cup growing cold in my hand. As I turned back around to say something else...anything else to lengthen the encounter, he was gone. 

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