Personalities are hard to hide. With kids in the lift, I am struck by the strength of the characters that are out for anyone to see and interact with. With time, what you see saw as a child tends to become more hidden, replaced by a persona that is tailored to expectations and norms.
The personalities in my life come with many traits in common. The lady that owns the coffee shop that I frequent each morning is always smiling and filled with hope. Even when she is tired and struggling, she is smiling. She has a resiliency about her that leaves me with a sense of courage and energy. Friends that notice her describe her as tall, a striking beauty. I smile, knowing while the externals are true; they have missed the personality that comes through.
When I need to relax after work I head to an Asian bistro nearby. It specializes in contemporary adaptations of east to west and west to east. One may not notice the German who can frequently be found around five thirty posting updates on the bistro’s Facebook page or sending out notices for upcoming events. His control and powers of observation fit most stereotypes. What many do notice is the ready smile, the gift of compassion, and the willingness to be present and listen.
There are days when I need comfort food. My ideal choice is a hawker food outlet in Alexandra Village. The owner, cook, and order taker come a woman I fondly call Mama-San. I do know her name, but the nickname came early and stuck. It is a term of affection more than anything else. Most see someone who laughs easily and works to ensure every customer gets what they are looking for. I have come to know the depth of her love for Divinity, enduring care of humanity, and purity of purpose.
Each personality is hard to hide. They and others all remind me of Divinity. “The deeper your love, the higher it goes; every cloud is a flag to your faithfulness.” (Psalm 57.10)