I was driving and listening to one of the Christian radio stations we have here and the dj played an intro to a song. The intro was from one of the artists who’s song was about needing Jesus. And it hit me. I need Him. I really do. I was thinking of all the times in my life I thought I could do it on my own or thought I was doing things in my own strength and how very wrong I was/am.
I started thinking of how many times I didn’t thank God for his goodness and mercy. I repented for transgressions that happened a long time ago. He knows. I’m sitting here at the ferry terminal waiting to go to work and I realize He is here. Right here in this building full of people waiting to get to work, school, tourists… Our Lord and Savior is alive and well and He is with us wherever we go even in times or trial, especially in times of trial. I never before thought of The Lord as being so… so tangible. His love is amazing and all anyone has to do to receive it is accept Him as your Savior; the Lord of your life.
I also thought of The Gospel. The truth that God sent his only son who lived a sinless life to die a horrible death for us all of us. It’s so very humbling and unreal and so very real at the same time. The Gospel is indeed good news!
I thought of all this while driving home from bringing my daughter to my Mom’s for a sleepover. It’s amazing how God will meet you where you are when you’re least expecting it. He meets you where you are… You don’t need to be “perfect” or cleaned up or have your act together to meet Him. The Lord takes you as you are and loves you as you are.
The other day I was on the ferry on my way to work. It was a beautiful morning, the sun was shining and it wasn’t hot out yet. It was the 8:30 am boat. I was sitting next to this man who reaked of cigarettes. His nails needed to be trimmed in the worst way. He proudly showed me and the people sitting across from us his new pack of cigarettes, they were called “Marlboro Blacks”. He was so impressed with this new pack. He then told me and the people across the seat that his birthday was coming up this weekend. I said, “Happy Birthday”and feigned interest to be polite and tried not to encourage conversation. But I couldn’t be rude. Honestly you could tell there was something up with this guy I mean who would show off a new pack of cigs to strangers?
He kept talking to me though. I nodded politely and he kept talking. He told me his mother kicked him out of the house when he was 27 years old because she was convinced he robbed her. He said he was once homeless. I couldn’t bring myself to ask if he was still homeless. We talked about how the ferry ride is free and what would he do if they decided to charge money for the ferry? I didn’t have an answer.
He didn’t ask my name and I didn’t ask his. He asked me if I cooked and I said yes, for my family. He then changed the subject and told me he was attacked and raped by a group of men “up in the Bronx”. That this group of men would listen to one man and do whatever he told them to do. I didn’t know what to say after that. I thought about my family how lucky I am to have them. That I have a house and a husband who loves me and works so hard to provide for us. I felt incredibly blessed and guilty for being so blessed all at the same time. The man spoke of another man giving him $1.00 without him asking for it or showing him his cup as he took a cup out of his jacket pocket. He never asked me for money.
I wondered why God placed me there next to this man and why was he telling me all this? Was I supposed to pray with him? I couldn’t bring myself to talk about God. I couldn’t bring myself to talk about much of anything I just listened and nodded. Maybe that’s what I was supposed to do?
The boat docked and I told him I had to go. We said goodbye and I was on my way to work and returned to my regularly scheduled life.