If you find it impossible to pray, hide behind your good angel and charge him to pray in your stead.
- John Vianney
It’s not news to anyone that I’m bad with directions, so when my friend suggested we meet for a quick lunchtime visit at Port Authority she was very specific about exactly where.
“The newsstand is huge,” she said after giving me detailed instructions. “You can’t miss it.” But I’d sort of tuned her out, thinking about the subway, wondering what line I’d take from the Guideposts offices downtown to the west side of midtown, where Port Authority is. If I could just find my way there, I figured, I had it made. “I’m on my way,” I said.
I hung up, grabbed my subway map and headed for the elevator. My confidence was boosted when I realized that Port Authority was a straight shot on the A train from the office, and there was a subway stop nearly right in front of the office doors. The ride was a cinch, and I found myself stepping out at Port Authority in no time, even in the lunch-hour rush.
Now what? I headed up the escalator from subway level, uncertain whether or not to continue up to the main floor. I wished I’d listened more closely to those directions. The complex is overwhelming, with many newsstands, and I couldn’t get a signal on my cell phone to save my life. I was lost in the nation’s largest and world’s busiest bus terminal, and my friend would forever tease me if I didn’t find her. She knows how I am, I thought. She’d pick the most obvious spot possible. I headed up to the main floor.
I spied the giant newsstand almost the minute I stepped off the escalator. She was right, you couldn’t miss it. But it was packed with people, and I’d wasted so much time not sure of where to go I wondered if she’d given up on me. I took several turns around the newsstand and it looked like she had. I’d call and apologize as soon as I got service. I stepped out, away from the crowd, and looked for a subway sign.
The logo on the Auntie Anne’s pretzel stand caught my eye. A pretzel topped with a golden halo. Below it stood my friend, smiling at me and tapping her foot. She knew me, all right, and had waited in the most obvious spot.
Colleen Hughes is the editor-in-chief of Angels on Earth. She's been at Guideposts for 20 plus years, and lives in a Hudson River town with her two daughters and two cats.