My Long Lost Sister?
I was having such a nice, tranquil day today. I had just eaten lunch with a group of folks from a variety of churches who had gathered together to discuss ordination. It was a fruitful and challenging time.
As I drove away from that lunch, I was listening to a podcast (Speaking of Faith) of an interview with an Irish poet. He was speaking about beauty and the human soul and landscapes. It was a lovely and inspiring program.
I pulled up behind a car in traffic. I noticed that the car had a bumper sticker--an oval with the letters “MV” in it. I know what that means, because I have one two. It is from Martha’s Vineyard, an island off of Cape Cod in Massachusetts. My wife and I have been going there since we were dating, and we find it a relaxing and spiritually uplifting place.
Then I noticed that this car also had a white “Apple" sticker. Wow, another connection. I have used Apple computers since 1986, and just last week was able to get a new MacBook laptop (which I am using right now).
As if that were not enough, I then saw that the car had an “ichthus” on it. That is the technical name of those “Christian fish” things that people put on their cars. And hanging down from the rearview mirror was a small wooden cross. A fellow Christian!
I was so excited. I felt that this must be a Holy Spirit inspired moment. A person who loves Martha’s Vineyard, Mac computers, and Jesus? That is my kind of person. I couldn’t wait to tell my wife that I had seen someone else from our tribe!
The traffic moved a bit, and I decided to pull up next to the car. I moved to its left side; I was going to turn left anyway. Now both of us were at a traffic light, each of us behind one other vehicle. I was going to go left, the car was going to go straight.
In the car was a woman. I could not make out her face, but she had a generous head of hair. I was thinking “its our long lost sister!” Of course, I knew she wasn’t. And I didn’t want to stare at her like some kind of weirdo. But the “coincidences” just felt so strange.
Then it happened. My light did not change, but hers did. Her light turned green, and the car in front of her did not move immediately. It sat still for only a moment, but she leaned on her horn and threw up her hands in frustration. I think she was yelling. And as both cars moved, and she drove on into her life, I laughed out loud. Now she was truly one of my people.
I love Cape Cod, Mac computers, and Jesus. I love my wife, my kids, my church, and all my friends. I am a person who prays, talks about movies, and laughs a lot. And I’m a person who gets angry, frustrated, and insecure. I can be judgmental, mean, and self-centered.
When I saw that lady express so much anger at something so small--insignificant to the point of absurdity--I saw myself. And I believe God orchestrated that moment for me, that he drew my attention to that scene. For what purpose? Well, I can’t know for sure; but, I have a suspicion.
I suspect that God was reminding me that I am not alone. I am not alone in my joys, or in my sins. I am not alone in what I love, and in what I hate. My loves are sometime grand, sometimes silly. And my sins are the same--sometimes spectacular, but mostly just stupid.
There is much to love about me, and much I wish would change. I am a mixture of good, bad and indifferent. And Jesus loves me, just as I am. And he died to make me his own.