oblivious…

photo by julia freeman-woolpert

i sit
in a little neighborhood coffee shop,
tucked in a corner
annoyed at the guy in the other corner.

but not for reasons you might think.

when waiting to turn left across two oncoming lanes of traffic,
a car came tearing around the corner in the oncoming lane.
i waited patiently
for him to pass,
so i could turn.
but then,
at the last moment,
and without blinker,
he turned into the same parking lot.

a sigh leaves my mouth (so much for the patient part).
had he used his blinker
i could have turned earlier.
oh well.

i walk into the coffee shop,
knowing that i didn’t know what i wanted.
i see the door open behind me and i turn to let the person behind me go first.
it is the same guy.
and without even acknowledging me standing there,
he blows past me to the front of the line.

sigh.
well, i was already going to offer that option, sooooo, let it go.

he gets his coffee,
i get mine,
and as i sit
and prepare to pull out my Bible and journaling materials,
i see him across the way,
reading his Bible.

really?!?
and fresh in my mind comes last Sunday’s sermon
about how we christians are so tied up in doing the christian things
that we miss the command
to love,
to put others ahead of ourselves,
to be known by our love.

and though the behavior
of the man across the way
resulted in my impatient sighs,
what really annoys me is this:

i am him.

i go through my day,
lost in my own thoughts,
missing the world around me,
missing the opportunity to say hello,
or offer a smile,
or a courtesy
to someone around me.

“He (Jesus) entered Jericho and was passing through.  And there was a man called by the name of Zaccheus; he was a chief tax collector and he was rich.  Zaccheus was trying to see who Jesus was, and was unable because of the crowd, for he was small in stature.  So he ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree in order to see Him, for He was about the pass through that way.  When Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, ‘Zaccheus, hurry and come down, for today I must stay at your house.’  And he hurried and came down and received Him gladly.” –Luke 19:1-6

Jesus, amid a pressing crowd of people,
noticed a guy in a tree.
i don’t know about you,
but i hardly notice a tree,
much less look for people in them.
much less call out to them
and make plans with them.

how many people have i blown past?
how many opportunities have i missed
to show someone a little kindness?

the man across the cafe was here and gone in under 15 minutes.
i wonder if,
in his quest to hurry through the morning,
he even noticed blowing past me.

and i wonder
how many wonder
the same about me.

“Be still and know that I am God…” –Psalm 46:10 (KJV)

it is the still heart
that has room
to notice the things around.

it is the calmed mind,
trusting in the provision of the Father,
that sets aside the worries of the day
and looks around,
capturing a glimpse
of the world to which i am called
to minister.

may i no longer be
more focused on my day’s checklist
than the people
Jesus died to save.

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