Thursday, May 9, 2013


The first was a guy in line at a 'fast food health food' place I was at for work.  When I see him on the playground at my kids' school, I always think it's Tim Robbins.  I went to him in line and found out he heads up some fancy masters program at the city college and bikes the thirty (or so) blocks to get this food.  His students have a display at a local museum about civil protest/vandalism being works of art.  Or something.  Though we were on a tour of local galleries, we skipped this one at the end of our day in favor of having ice cream by a fountain.

The second was the lady scooping ice cream.  It took me a second, but I quickly made the connection that we see her sometimes at our favorite dog park (on the other side of town!).  She's probably fifty, and I assume owns the place.  As the group of nine African elders made their order, I introduced myself again.  It felt like a small town.

While waiting for ice cream, one of my son's best friends came in with his huge smile, his dad, and his grandmother.  The charming grandmother complimented my hair.  We stood in the sunshine as the streetcar went by, and my son's friend, as always, said little but smiled at me nonstop.  He's one of my favorites.

Three people I didn't expect to see, I saw on the opposite end of the city.

Tonight we sat at a friend's house on our end of the city with several other people.  One was a doctor.  One was a barista who had funny things to say about frappucino happy hour.  Another was a seminary graduate who had a lot to say about raccoons.  One was a physician's assistant.  Another was a nurse who sat quietly in the corner and told me quietly at one point how much she likes Captain Crunch cereal, like it's a big secret.  There were others there too.  And within the group was a former prostitute with a lengthy criminal record and another who admitted to a years-long separation after physically abusing his wife.  We told our stories and talked about what it means to "love stronger because family matters."

I'm not sure what my point is besides laying out the day I just experienced.  It's good to be out there experiencing this world.  It's good to walk up to the person you recognize in line for a health food fix.  It's good to take photos of African elders standing in front of a city fountain, the Eritrean couple holding hands in a rare show of affection.  It's good to be family in the community of God, to confess our hidden secrets, the things that weigh us down, to accept forgiveness, to make ourselves vulnerable, to make mistakes in front of family because we know it's all covered in grace.

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