It was the shade of purple that says, “Look at me. Remember that there really is some unpredictable, out-of-place color and beauty in this world.”
It caught my eye, painted unashamedly on the sports car that flew by me a few feet to the right.
Seeing it, I thought, “Wow. What a color. It’s so unique, deep, and rich. That is a good looking color for a car.”
Basically, it looked a little bit like this:
Light turns red. I creep to a halt– right next to the purple car.
Their windows are down.
My windows are always down.
Waiting for a signal of glaring green, I pull out my phone to text my boss about a schedule change.
“Texting while driving, eh?”
The voice comes from the purple car. The speaker wears well-kept, ear-length hair under a grey beanie and dark-shaded eyes. A casual hipster, I suppose. His companion reclines in the passenger seat, his crossed feet lounging on the right rearview mirror, a black fedora resting at a jaunty angle over his eyes.
He’s smiling, so I pretend playful exasperation.
“I’m at a stop light!”
“I know.” He smiles again.
The conversation could end at that: slight awkwardness, with nothing much left to say and the light still glaring red. But my carefully crafted compliment about the car seems to be very appropriate for the moment.
“By the way, I like the color of your car. It’s such a rich color.”
No reply for a second, and I don’t expect one. I’m ready to return to my texting when he suddenly says,
“Hey, what are you doing at 7:00 tonight?”
With those 8 words, my imagination has a panic attack, and automatically generates a thousand freakishly sketchy reasons why a stranger at a stoplight in a purple car might be asking me this question. It doesn’t take an overly developed imagination to think of a few feasible directions that this conversation could be going.
My mind seizing into an awkwardly dumbfounded mode, I stutter, “N..nn…nothing.”
He nods in the direction of his passenger. “’Cause we’re part of a band, and we’re playing downtown at 7:00 tonight.”
My heart gives an inward sigh of relief. That was in no way what I was expecting. And now my curiosity is piqued.
“What kind of music do you play?”
“John Legend, Maroon 5, that kind of stuff.”
The light brightens into green.
“It’s downtown, at the oyster bar, behind Al Fresco,” he adds.
I ease up on the brake, smile broadly, and send the quick last words, “Okay. Thanks!”
As I leave the purple car behind, slight laughter suddenly wells up in me. I think over that one-minute-conversation more, and I laugh some more. The laughter bubbles over into absolute gratitude for the one-minute-gift. I laugh not to mock or to mask embarrassment, but to celebrate the sheer beauty of a totally unexpected conversation that went much differently than I ever could have expected.
You see, I believe that God loves to carve adventures into our lives. He crafts gifts meant to inspire joyful strength in our hearts, and wraps those gifts up ever so carefully inside the brown paper package of adventure. Without taking the adventures, there can be no gifts.
Leaving the brown paper packaging in carefully peeled shreds, I clutch this gift in thankful hands, and continue on my way, my heart a little strengthened, my world a little brightened, and my hands ready to pass it on to another Opener of Adventures.
p.s. And, if you were wondering, no, I didn’t end up going to watch the band play. I had a ton of homework to finish. However, I was pretty seriously considering it. I even changed the route of my drive home just to pass the little open-air oyster bar where they were playing, to see if anyone had come out yet.
But maybe someday. Who knows what may come of that one-minute-exchange?