Monday, July 18, 2011

See Things

At the end of last week, I developed some kind of eye problem that has caused me to go without my contact lenses until my eye is healed.  I am wearing my glasses, and unfortunately, because I have become so reliant upon my contacts, these glasses are two or three prescriptions behind.  No one's life is in danger, but let's just say, I'm not at my seeing best.  This morning, as I made my way off the train, though, I saw things I have always missed somehow even with better vision.  When you get off the train at Union Station in Chicago at rush hour, there are mobs of people, all marching to work.  Mobs.  Some days it's worse than others because several trains, although scheduled to arrive just the right amount of time apart, come in all at the same time.  You feel a little like you're part of a herd and your best strategy in finding your way out to the open air is to keep your head down and make sure your feet don't get tangled. 

I noticed two things today.  Every single person carries, pushes, or pulls something -- a coffee travel mug, a briefcase, a backpack, a suitcase, a stroller, a box, a book, a child, a wheelchair.  There is not a person who is free-handed.  And it turns out, everyone has some kind of ailment.  The lady in front of me has an Ace bandange around her elbow.  The woman next to her has a black wrist splint on her right arm.  Another woman has a foot that bends inward and she walks crooked as a result.  A man up ahead limps.  Another man cannot stop coughing.  All these broken bodies.  If these were computers or mobile devices, we would trade them in, demanding a free replacement. 

Then there's all the internal ailments.  The guy who sat next to me on the train bit his nails down to the quick as if he has not eaten in days.  Anxiety.  It pulled his eyebrows down, wrinkled his face, and quickened his breath.  The father and son who ride together everyday sat apart today.  There were people all around who carried hurt with them along with their briefcases, bags, and books.  There were hearts broken this past weekend and deep, lasting pain that resulted.  There were parents walking to work who haven't seen their kids in years because of something that started small, or something that was really big.  There were Sunday nights that ended in marital fighting and turned backs.  There were regrets for things said and done.  There were heavy hearts for things unsaid and un-done.  There were those who were so happy this morning that Sunday night ended so that at least for a few short hours, the loneliness will abate.  And there are those who are headed for a day in which their deepest insecurities will be exposed, their longest-held fears realized, or their hardest choices made.  

These people I saw today are the ones that bump into me on the street, who cut me off in traffic, who go too slow in the left lane, who walk too absentmindedly, who don't go fast enough when the light turns green, and who haven't decided what to order by the time it's their turn in line.  These people I saw today are you and they are me.  They need grace.  They need love.

"So if you're serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it.  Pursue the things over which Christ presides.  Don't shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you.  Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ—that's where the action is.  See things from his perspective. . . . chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline.  Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense.  Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you.  And regardless of what else you put on, wear love.  It's your basic, all-purpose garment.  Never be without it."  (Col. 3:1-3; 12-14) 

1 comment:

  1. Hey Kellye
    While reading your blog about the crowds got me thinking about Matthew 9 where Jesus saw the crowd and had compassion on them for they were like sheep without a shepherd, helpless, harassed... pretty much the same picture u got while on the train and then as u walked to work...
    I really do believe that God wants to see the crowds as He sees them ... with compassion and I believe that our crowds are made up of:
    * Lost - people exploring looking for meaning and salvation
    * Last - people that the world rejects, they always get picked last for the pick up ball game and when they do get picked no one passes them the ball
    * Least - the people that Jesus described in Matthew 25 ... those who are thirsty, hungry, naked, in prison ... and dare I add lonely...

    May we see with the eyes of God with compassion on the crowds all around us ...

    ed ramsami