it is nearing noon, and i'm just now getting settled into my office at work, not because i overslept, but because i met Jesus this morning. he didn't look the way i usually picture him. he was about my height, but with a bigger belly and a sandy moustache that covered his upper lip. he was wearing some sort of boot-like-cast thing on his left foot. he said "man" alot when he talked, like a hippie. he told me how he needs to get back to rhode island, and how bad his foot hurts, and how he only has three dollars in his pocket. he told me a great deal about the last few months of his life, a convoluted and confusing stream of consciousness kind of story. i would never call Jesus a liar, but i wasn't quite convinced about every detail of his story. it started getting a little fishy around the part where someone stole $1000 from him at the pancake house. still, the lines on his face and the desperation in his eyes (not to mention the severe limp in his walk) told me all the story i needed to know. i got him a train ticket to newark and an amtrak ticket to providence, and then took him in my minivan to the train station. as we sat there in the parking lot full of commuters' cars, empty, Jesus sipped on his cup of coffee and we talked about things like how he likes that jennifer hudson song about the river, and about how his dad abused him. we discussed smokey robinson and God's love. after awhile, i offered to pray with him, and he agreed, adding that we should pray for michael jackson's family as they mourn his passing. so we did. we closed our eyes there in the front seat of my minivan and i asked God to help this man get to providence safely, to ease the pain in his foot, and to help him see again just how beloved he is. i also asked God to be with the jackson family, and Jesus became quite vocal during that part. he moaned several "yes lord"s and then we said amen. i shook his hand, he thanked me, and then i left him there at the train station. i drove off in my minivan, noticing his empty disposable coffee cup rolling around on the floor, and i was simply struck by the fact that a man with an aching foot, an aching heart, and an empty wallet would be so concerned about someone else's hurt.
so Jesus taught me a lesson today. i got him a ride home, but he gave me a valuable reminder that life isn't all about me and my trivial concerns. i'm too self-absorbed.
thank you, Jesus, for the reminder that there is more to life than my silly worries, or my even sillier schedule. i hope you made it to providence all right. catch you later.