I've never told anyone this before, but when I was little, like around five, I started a prayer list. I'm very good at making lists – all you need to do is ask my big brother :) I used to keep a list of ten or fifteen things he did that made me mad (he's never let me forget it either!). Or you could ask my old driving teacher: I could remember all the rules he gave, one by one, on how to parallel park. Chat with my old camp counselors, they'd describe how I could memorize everyone's names after hearing them once. Question my Mom – all I had to do was study a spelling list for ten minutes, and I could take the final test. Yes, a memory is such a gift – even though it can also be a terrible curse.
My prayer list isn't ordinary – actually it's a bit peculiar. It started when I was shopping in the grocery store with my family one day, and heard a little girl screaming. Actually, she was my age then. Her parents were yelling at her right back – hitting her. It struck me as wrong; it struck me as terrible. So I decided that I owed that memory to her – that I'd never forget her.
Then there was the blond girl & her boyfriend outside the restaurant in the bright red pick-up. I was absolutely fascinated with them – they got stuck on my list too. And there was the boy who won a game, picked a prize, but then traded it back for something an elderly lady wanted. There was the man that opened the door & gave up his seat, and the person who needed more money for his family. And the guy with the fluffy shirt in the doctor's office.
They're engraved in my head – my prayer list. They're people that I thought were extraordinary in extra ordinary ways. I can remember all of the situations vividly – I can tell you where, I could tell you when. Every detail imprinted, carved onto my mind, on purpose – with a purpose. People I noticed, who never noticed anyone noticed. That's me.
So when you think no one's watching – don't overlook the little girl in the corner. Yeah, she looks too young, and yes, she's pretending not to soak you up in detail. But she could just be remembering you – praying for you – forever.
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