Sunday, December 28, 2008

Entertaining Angels

I was cold and wet waiting for the bus yesterday. I was a little annoyed that I couldn't find the receipt I needed to exchange a pair of jeans that fit perfectly one day and were too small the next. I was also complaining to myself, wishing I could jump in a car instead of having to wait for the bus in the pouring rain. I decided to head out to the mall anyway.

Only a few minutes passed before a middle-aged/older man made his way to the same bus stop. He was friendly and said hello. He went on to say that it was a great day because we're still here. He had a grin on his face, I couldn't tell if he was being sarcastic.

To be honest, I was a little surprised by his friendliness. I'm used to the hustle and bustle of Bean Town, where most people don't have time to be extra friendly, usually a smile is all strangers exchange. (I was almost weirded out by it, but I shouldn't have been. After all, I do find it strange when other people find friendliness itself strange. It usually doesn't make sense.)

The bus arrives and I'm relieved that I didn't have to wait in the cold too long. I sit down, the stranger sits in the available seat in front of me. I begin to understand what he meant when he said 'we're still here' after he goes on to say 'we're here to serve God' a few moments later, on the bus.

Again, I was surprised that I was surprised by his candidness. He continued to chat. 'You know, most people don't hear the voice of God because they're distracted by the little things around them, but if you listen, you'll hear his voice; his message is one of love.'

I had to agree. He was mumbling a little after that, saying something about how the government isn't going to change anything because in the end it's all up to us. I nodded in agreement and then laughed a little to myself when he said 'we really need to stop burning gasoline'. After that, he said goodbye and hopped off the bus. I should note that I didn't laugh because what he said seemed disconnected from everything else he was saying; instead, I laughed because it was connected to what I was complaining about earlier.

I felt guilty about the ungrateful attitude I had just minutes before; I realized I'd missed an opportunity to hear God's voice instead of my own ungrateful thoughts. Thankfully, he also speaks through all kinds of friendly folks, even the ones you meet at the bus stop on a cold day.


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