For my 30th birthday, my awesome wife Beth got us tickets to see the Yankees play their next to last game in the old Yankee Stadium. It was an epic pitching duel which the Yanks lost to the Blue Jays in fourteen innings. It wasn’t my first time to the Big Apple, but is was Beth’s. We stayed at the Hyatt next to Grand Central Station. I won’t soon forget the site as we pulled on to 42nd Street, and not because of the towering buildings and gaudy lighting on every store front.
Before we made our right turn, there was a Rolls Royce in front of us, and a homeless man sleeping on the curb, only a few feet away. Two lives on opposite ends of the spectrum of life There was a brief moment, where my heart broke from him, but then I had Beth take a picture of the Rolls in front of us, and we were on our way. He was “just” another homeless man in New York.
It was easy to dismiss him, because all I saw was a man sleeping next to the road. We took a picture of him too.
This Sunday, we attended my father in law’s church, Grace Community in Theresa, and he said something that reminded me of this man. He talked about how sometimes we see only a snapshot of a person’s life, where they are now, and we judge or condemn them. You know, the types, the drunks, the addicts, the gossips, those angry at life and others, the bullies (yes adults can bully too), we classify them, then dismiss them.
Then he spoke of God, who is not bound by time, and has known them from the womb. He knows why they are addicts, drunks, etc. He saw the beatings they received as children, the rejection through their youth, and the release from life that came, even if for a moment when they chose their type of escape: drugs, sex, or otherwise.
Then I heard God asking me, “Chris, when you look at the world around you, do you see what I see? Do you see the pain, the hurt, the agony that shaped their lives to this point? Do you see why I had to send my Son, so that they could be free?”
Then he asked, “So why don’t you tell them? Why don’t you love on them?”
And I didn’t have an answer, and that sucks.