Ruth was standing in back of me at the check out in the grocery store. As I unpacked my handbasket, she asked, "How did you ever manage to carry so much in your basket?" I smiled, and she said, "I know, you probably just came in for a couple things!" She was only buying three packages of coaster napkins, and when I commented on how little she was getting, she said her Big Shop would be on Monday. We talked a bit more, mostly about how stores used to be closed on Sundays.
After I was checked out, I waited for her to finish, and asked if she'd let me take a photo for my 100 Strangers project. She was happy to oblige me, and offered to carry one of my bags as we walked out to the parking lot together. When she found out that my husband was having trouble with his back, she told me she did too, and that 80% of people did. 'You're one of the lucky 20% percent," she told me. She had some very helpful suggestions for how to handle back problems, telling me my husband shouldn't wait to get help or to start physical therapy. She even went so far as to give me the name of her orthopedist. I felt a real connection with Ruth, who had a generous sweet spirit. As we took our leave, she said, "In my family, we call this a 'God moment'." Indeed it was.