This is not a new post, but if you have been moved by the beauty of the message of this most courageous Pope Frances…read about this miracle morning in my life and notice the miracles in your own day today.
Yesterday morning was just like any other morning. Full of possibility.
I walked down in the early morning darkness hoping to catch a ride into the City from drivers who wait at the curbside in what we call the “Casual Carpool”. Yes, I know…seems risky doesn’t it after years of indoctrination about hitchhiking, which of course is a less sophisticated kind of casual carpool? But my experience and the lack of media coverage screaming “woman assaulted in casual carpool”makes me willing to take the risk most mornings.
There was a man carrying a large garbage bag half full of God-Knows-What standing on the sidewalk and the friendly headlights of a woman waiting for a passenger. Climbing into the back seat and handing her the perfunctory dollar bill, the two of us started to talk, noticing the man walking toward the car, then backing off. I was shocked when she stopped talking to me and rolled down the passenger window as he approached the car. “Are you waiting for someone?”, he asked. The driver said, “Yes”, and he walked away. That could have been the end of it but she got out of the car and asked him if he wanted a ride to the City. “Yes, but I don’t know if this” (pointing to his trash bag)” is appropriate to be in your car”. What he meant was, “I don’t know if I am appropriate to be in your car.” The shame was palpable. Without blinking, the driver said, “It is just fine. You can hold it in your lap.” Looking surprised and still tentative, he got in the front seat. “I am going to the VA Hospital.”
It was the most beautiful drive across the bridge as I listened to the two of them talking. It seems her father who had recently passed away was also a vet…the Korean War. She had taken him often to the VA during a long battle with renal failure. The man listened to her tell the stories of trips with her father He shared his own stories about Vietnam.
Yes, there were moments when I reminded myself that anything could happen with a “guy like that”. Then I just let go and noticed how much sweeter the day was when I trusted. And that morning, my heart was in Heaven.
Sometimes when you feel fearful of what you don’t know and you want to pull back, when you see a homeless person on the street and avoid looking them in the eyes…do something different. Take a chance! Look up at the humanity that is right in front of you. There might be story to be told.