65 or Bust!


I have been asking folks to sign my quilt for 4 years now. Just about the time I think I have heard it all – I am surprised!

While in Acuna a group of us went shopping for the usual souvenirs; blankets, pottery, jewelry, and of course some great Mexican vanilla. As you might expect not all shop owners are so concerned about customer satisfaction but rather how many American dollars they can take home at the end of the day. Bargaining is a must! Our shopping trip has been just what I had expected until we meet Dan.

As we all crowded into Dan’s small shop he graciously greeted us, thanking us for coming to his store. I watched as he helped each person. His attitude was different than most we had encountered. He listened to our wants and needs, found out how much we could spend, who we were buying gifts for. He actually was providing great customer service! More than once he lowered his price voluntarily, realizing most of us were on strict budgets. With care and concern he helped several of our youth find reasonable and useful gifts for their friends and family. In all my days working retail management he is among those I would consider great at customer relations.

Finally, just a few of us were left in Dan’s store. We chatted with him about his store and his merchandise. He shared some of business philosophy with us. I asked him to sign my quilt. He was slightly confused at first but soon his confusion turned to enthusiasm. When I explained he could give a specific prayer request he became very serious, immediately he placed his hand on my shoulder bowing his head. Quickly he jerked away saying he had to turn off the music because it was not “music good for prayer”! When the music was turned off and Dan was back in our circle of prayer he told us his request. “Ask God to give me good health until I am 65”.

I think our little group of prayer warriors were surprised by Dan’s request. I know I was. Why 65? Why not a long life? He said after 65 your health goes downhill! Well most of us in that prayer circle are a few years beyond 65 or fast approaching that number! I cleared my throat and said teasing “Watch it!” Realizing he was dealing with a group of feisty senior adults he quickly said, “In my family the men do not do well after 65”. He was seriously concerned. We gathered into a small circle and prayed giving thanks for him and his store. As we prayed I could feel the weight of Dan’s arm on my shoulder. I wondered how long he had been bearing this burden and if was beating it alone. I did not pray for 65 healthy years but rather for God to bless him with many healthy and productive years.

Written by Susan

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