The thriving metropolis of Chicago was such a different atmosphere for a “country mouse” girl like myself. I remember a “city mouse” co-worker returning from a trip out West saying that there were animals right by the road. She was shocked that they were allowed to be so close to the passing cars. Since Chicago was as far west as I’d ever gone, I inquired about what kind of animals she’d seen. In my imagination they could have been bobcats, coyotes, even bears. But no, they were cows and horses that amazed her. It was finally my turn to chuckle, knowing that in my “country mouse” little town, this was a common occurrence.
So, riding my new found means of public transportation to work one sunny morning, I spontaneously stood and announced to my “city mouse” neighbors on the bus, “A dog! Look, a dog!” The little spotted, four-legged friend was nonchalantly ambling down Irving Park Road, checking out all hydrants and parking meters as he went. He was the first dog I’d seen since arriving in the city.
It was one of those, “Did I Say That Out Loud” moments.
I got the standard deadpan stare from the other riders who wondered, I’m sure, if I was going to do something even more drastic, like – talk to them individually. Everyone knows that you only do that on public transportation after your train has been delayed for 20 minutes because someone decided to end their time here on planet earth by jumping in front of an elevated train, going breakneck speed to its next stop. Then it’s completely appropriate to have a minimal conversation with the person next to you.
I had a hard time learning this lesson though. At one of the big name department stores one day they were having a sale in their basement section on purses. I stood in total amazement as a clerk literally aimed purses toward the sale table, throwing them over the heads of shoppers. When I finally eased my way to the side of the table, I helped an elderly woman grab a bag that was just out of her reach. Handing it to her, I said, “Good Morning.” Her response, “Do I know you?”
The city and I spent many interesting days together. It was a fantastic opportunity to learn more about people in general, and myself in particular. God sometimes puts us where we don’t feel secure and confident to show us He is in control and we can trust that His ways are perfect. I learned so much from my “city mouse” friends about life, love and contentment. God used the city and my “city mouse” friends to change this “country mouse” for the rest of my life.