Sunday, October 26, 2008
Last week I was walking in a hurry (which is how I always walk, which makes NYC a good fit for me) down Broadway from 42nd to 34th. I was supposed to meet my 16 year old son Caleb. It was 5:30 PM and the streets were packed. A woman walking in front of me was carry two large bags in each hand, creating a blockade. People behind her were visibly irritated as their progress was slowed down. Finally I spotted an opening and shot past her, brushing her bags as I hurried by. I got about 5 steps and I heard that voice inside my head "As he went on his way, he saw...". These words come from John 9. The "he" is Jesus, and I have come to see that the way Jesus lived was not by a plan, a schedule, an agenda, but by responding to what he saw as he went on his way. So I have been trying to "see" as I go on my way. In fact, our Communitas family has been trying to learn to follow Jesus in this way. It's really simple: look at who and what is going on around, and when possible, act in a helpful, loving way. But it's not simple for one like me who schedules, over schedules, and hurries. If John was writing about me, he might write something like this: "As he hurried on his way, he walked right by...(fill in the blank)!
To make a long story short, I ended up helping this woman, who spoke no English, carry the bags to 29th street. I considered stopping at 34th and saying "This is as far as I go", but decided that this was definitely not what Jesus would do.
I headed back to 34th to meet Caleb and I was late. But life went on, and we got done what we needed to. Did I change this woman's life? Nope. But maybe a small act of kindness, someone willing to slow down and see and act meant something to her.
I am learning the opportunity to love God and love others is all around me, if I will just open my eyes and see as I go on my way.