I listen to other music besides Christian pop
This is Max Richter's Departure Suite
Nice, but sometimes mind numbing, a place I visit.
I Once was Blind, but Now I Finally SEE
By Nina B.
My status changed over the summer. I went from being a driver to a commuter/walker.
One busy, late afternoon I was driving to pick up a former student for dinner. I had one former student in the passenger seat. We were celebrating one of them entering college. However, a white van rear-ended me as I sat, stopped in line waiting for the light to change; and was pushed into the car in front of me… Sadly, the one doing the pushing drove off, not even checking to see if we were okay. I became the “meat” in the middle of two vehicles. My trunk was nearly accessible from the back seat!
Hence, I became a commuter and walker, (although, I always went for walks - but now I walk with a purpose - to get places - not just for exercise).
At first it was hard. Actually, it still is… Being around people…
I never knew how much of a loner I was. The world I created for myself was very controlled. I only interacted with people that I chose, let alone look at people to see them. As a commuter and walker, you must be aware of who is around you at all times! It’s a safety precaution.
(Aside: It hit me that I rarely look at myself! I don’t like what I see most times, and when I presume to see some strangers, I don’t like what I see in them either. Hence, Father’s work is never done within me.)
When I don’t want to bother with God’s image improvement plan for me, I avoid looking at myself. Once upon a time when I didn’t want to bother with people, I’d either drive a little earlier in the morning and go home later in the evening - less crazy people out on the roads! I’d sit in the back of church and disappear just at the last Amen. And during the sharing of the peace - I’d bury my head in drawing a picture on the back of the offering envelope - folks don’t usually bother you if you messing with your offering envelopes. I did my shopping usually on the same day at the same time so that the same people who’d I have to interact with, were in their usual same place. When I ate grilled salmon from Mariano’s; there would be the big fish butcher guy, (he’d see me coming and knew what I wanted every time - I was predictable - until the accident happened and I stopped eating salmon. (I stopped eating fish because the radiation problems with the Pacific Ocean - not because of the accident). I’d see the same farm stand lady, (she didn’t seem to like her job), the same cashier, … the same cart guy with the wild hair… I’d kinda see other shoppers, but I’d avoid making eye contact as much as they did. I’d move around them like a synchronized swimmer moving through water. I’d see a cart, the contents therein, a hand pushing the cart and I’d move… I’d rather look at the rows of pastas and bags of beans… The people would exist, but not to interact with - like Tennessee Williams, “Glass Menagerie” - the people around me were of specific collections… to be handle with care and at a distance - always…
I’d see my same students, the same colleagues the same staff... I’d interact with those I choose and the others, … I am of the mind that what I do and what I think matters very little to most people - and that’s okay. It’s like the people at the store that I chat with - to be polite - they are numb, (like most people I see at work). They deal with people all day, everyday and have become de-sensitized to the constant droning of the noise that “people” make…
NOW, as a commuter and walker I see people like I’ve never have before - maybe it’s a novelty and will wear off - and become like constant droning… but I kinda hope not…
I see a young woman of about 25, with her little girl of about four. It’s some time after the dinner hour and to keep the pangs of hunger at bay the mom has purchased two bags of bargain hot and spicy cheese curls. A bag for each of them. They sit quietly, looking ahead at nothing as the scenes of our ride flash in seconds in the window. They lick their now red fingers as they eat and stare, silently.
I see a middle aged, who is wearing a hoody. He is trying so hard to hide. He has the shakes - not from the cold. He’s clean, ...has an expensive cell phone that he checks for some message… good shoes… From time to time he looks up and out from his hiding place. His face is pallid. Empty. Searching.
I see a very large, overweight man wearing army fatigues. He’s in a wheelchair. He’s partially slumped over as he sleeps… He snores semi-loudly. His lips are thick and cracked. He wears a knitted non distinct sports hat. It’s pulled down over his ears, but held in place with those headphones that look like the tops of mason jars, but of course, more stylish.
I see an old woman who comes up to me when she sees me. She sometimes wears dark sunglasses when it’s already dark - she must be on medication that causes her eyes to hurt at the glare of any light. She always is dressed modestly, (and encourages me to wear a hat on my head). Her shoes are orthopedic and look heavy, but what shows of her legs are thick and strong. She is shorter than I am and she speaks in a thick Caribbean accent. She says, “Good Morning and God bless you”... She also blew my bubble totally away and hugged me.
I see so much now, however, still feel that I miss a lot,... like the man who was saying Happy Thanksgiving to me. I was in my bubble world and was hiding from the outside, by wearing my sunglasses and headphones, listening to Max Richter’s Departure Suite, but not too loudly in the event of danger, (I want to hear it coming if I miss seeing it first…). So, I heard a mumble of something as I passed and realized too late that he was speaking a kindness…
There’s so much more that I can share of what I see - good, bad, ugly, rude, questionable…, but this already 4 pages and like Youtube videos that are longer than 20 minutes - who wants to read all this rambling...
So, what’s the point of seeing folks at this stage of the game… Seeing gives the point of entry into the game. The eye is the open window into the soul, (someone said once upon a time - I think it’s the heart - which is heavily guarded). Seeing provides the point of connection - when we do finally see. You connect with God when you see. It’s like He’s showing you His creation and gives you opportunity to work with Him to fix those that are broken or to share in the walk along the way... It’s like when a mom allows her child to stir the batter and then completes the work and serves a beautiful creation and the child is like, “Wow! I helped do that?!” The delight the mom has because the child is so happy... and the child wants to do more - so it is with the Father with us.
When we finally see, we have to do something. I can’t pretend there aren’t people there anymore. I can’t pick and choose whom I share Jesus with - He says I’m gonna break your bubble and push you out into the world so that you can be light and salt, to anyone I send your way.
For every disadvantage there is an advantage. My car was totaled, (I don’t feel that it’s God’s timing that I replace it just yet), so, I must get to work - not the busy work that I can do with my eyes closed, (that thing I do for 10-12 hours a day), but the labor of the Father where I must have my eyes wide open - allowing Father to open my eyes and see the work that is needed to be done.
Soli Deo Gloria
|A photo I took some time ago and added a magazine pic|