Monday, May 26, 2008

right where I'm supposed to be

Last night I went to the DePaul Gospel Choir spring concert. It was okay...There was a woman that was preaching in the middle of the concert and she said something that was cool: She said that God puts you where He wants you and then she went on to give a ton of examples. One of the ones she said was, "You are on that bus for a reason. God put you there for a reason." I didnt really feel moved especially by anything she said at the time, but today I was pleased to find her words ring true.

I was taking the bus home from the train station this afternoon. (I am not loving the patience that public transportation takes but it is slowing me down and creating space for thinking and reflecting) As I waited for the bus, a lady asked me what time the bus comes and after I told her she didnt stop talking until after we boarded the bus, took our seats and then arrived at my stop and I departed. She just began spilling her life out to me, I mean she wove this sordid tale of an abusive husband and 2 children who are grown and do not talk to her and she cant find them and she just moved to Niles from Lincoln Square neighborhood and is amazed how downhill her old neighborhood has gone. She had just come from there and saw a fight between a homeless man and a gangbanger with a baby in tow over turf. She went on and on and did stop once and ask about my work situation. I did not have time to ask her many questions, she jsut seemed to want to pour out her situation. The bus was loud and she spoke quietly, I kept missing words and phrases but she did not seem to be concerned. At first, I kept thinking why is she telling me this? What does she want me to do to help? I also was a little uncomfortable at first, I mean I am very not into sharing personal details of my life with anyone and here this woman was spilling details of her life into my hands as we waited for the bus on a warm windy Saturday in Chicago. Later, as she continued talking aboard the bus I was thinking how do I tell her Jesus loves her? How do I work that in, because I am sure THAT is what I am supposed to do, That has got to be why God put me here...
Then I realized- Maybe I am just here to listen. Thats it. To listen and smile and tell her to have a good day. ITs weird that just listening and smiling and caring can be enough, life's problems seem so much more serious than that.

But God has me on that bus. He will have me on the bus, and train, and bus again all week long. Its more than money. I need that time to requaint myself with the city and to see the people in a way that I have lost lately. I need that time to learn patience as I wait for the bus. I need to be on that bus to have the chance to make someone's day by smiling, laughing, listening, talking, giving up my seat, helping someone on with packages or strollers, etc. I think I have been shying away from interacting with people for a while and now this is God's way of introducing me back into where he wants me to be.

As I grumble about the many events that have culminated in my decision to divorce my car for a week, God has blessed me with a way to serve. He has put me somewhere that while challenging and different from my normal routine, will give me the motivation in serving and loving and interacting with others. I have been lacking in this area and my spiritual life and relationship with God has visibly suffered.

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