27 October 2010

Learning to See - again

I'm on a train heading back to Maine. I spent the last few days in New York City for some meetings on missions with my organization. I'm tired, yet hopeful and inspired.

Traveling has a way of helping me to see things from fresh perspectives...

Court has invited me to preach this Sunday at her church, and maybe because of the stories in Luke dealing with blindness and sight I'm more open to possibilities and thoughts on "seeing" and "sight".

My roommate in New York told me an encounter he had upon arriving. The Subway in NYC had maintenance work occurring over the weekend - which altered the service of some of the lines. He got turned around and, finally, asked for directions of a Subway official. As he headed back to the platform a blind lady stopped him, "Excuse me, from where did you come and where do you want to go?" He told her. She replied, "Well the directions that man just gave you are wrong. What you want to do is..." and she proceeded to tell him the best route. She ended with "I can't believe you didn't see the signs at Penn Station - they're everywhere."
We had a good laugh about that last point - and it had me thinking about we who can "see" don't really "see" at times.

The other story happened to me in Boston on the way down to New York. I had a 2 hour layover between trains and decided to grab coffee and try to write for a bit.
I sat at a table with my journal open, sipping coffee, and people watching. An auburn hair, freckled man set his things down at a neighboring table and proceeded to tally receipts speaking to himself in French and English. After he finished, he packed his bag, turned towards me looking intently, "And you, you have a VERY good week, sir." I paused and asked him if his accent came from Southern France. We chatted briefly, and as he left I said a casual, "Have a good day..." Yet this stood in stark contrast to his intentional parting comment a few minutes before, and I suddenly saw something that I had lost over time. He spoke his words almost as a benediction while I spoke with casual, American, friendly indifference. In every encounter I have an opportunity to speak a word of blessing into and over someone's life, and my eyes had grown blind. When did these cataracts of indifference occur? I don't know - maybe they form when I'm preoccupied or think I don't have time and rush by people. Maybe they form when I don't actively exercise the ability to pronounce blessing.

While in NY we had an opportunity to tour part of the 19-story (I think) building which houses my organization and many faith-based organizations. It's amazing how an elevator ride can grant a different perspective on NYC - which is the photo I have attached.

Well, that's the stream of consciousness for this week.

May you have a VERY good week, and may you know hope and joy in ever deeper ways.

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