Monday, March 22, 2010
Whatt'da ya mean, you've nevah had wudder ice, they asked in disbelief? Wide-eyed and curious, they looked at this California girl as if I was from Mars. Surrounded by roughly 20 pre-teen girls, they laughed and told me I had to go to Rita's for water ice (or, as they say, wudder ice).
The next day on my way to the airport, my gracious hosts learned about my apparent Philadelphia sin--You've never been to Rita's?! At this point I think Rita must be everyone's grandmother because everyone knows her and is offended I haven't visited her.
We pulled into obscure an Philly lot and saw the Rita's banner hanging from the brown, weathered roof. I'm expecting an old woman with a sweet voice who calls me Sugar to come out and hug me. But no, Rita is no where to be found. In fact, I don't think Rita lives there. The windows aren't open and the shades are drawn closed.
With sad, disappointed voices my hosts, Gabrielle and Angelica, inform me Rita's was closed. So I did what any ambitious girl would do. I knocked on the window. Hard. They looked at me in one of the She's-not-from-Philly ways and waited for us to get rejected. A tall, thin but burly guy peeks out of the door with a brisk, We open at noon.
As he was shutting the door I yelled out, I'mFromCaliforniaAndI'veNeverHadRita'sBeforeAndICan'tGoHomeWithoutEverTryingIt! (exhale) There is a slight pause from my tall but burly friend. Hang on, he said.
He returns with not one but THREE Rita's ice waters! Gab and Annie look at me in complete shock. I turned it into a Come-To-Jesus moment and I pepper our experience with, You have not because you ask not! We laughed, but it resonated deep within. Like a pebble tossed into a lake, the words spoken by Jesus reverberated in my mind, You have not because you ask not.*
We sometimes look at 'CLOSED' signs and walk away. But what if we have to fight for it? What if we have to ask to get it? What if the miraculous is answered simply when we ask? So--what are you asking for? What's your small miracle? Maybe we just need to ask...