Living in a big city always brings dangers, seen and unseen. We have come to expect that people will murder others, muggings and robberies will occur at all hours of the day, and guarded protection is a norm that transcends all other criteria.
There are two observations from the last few days.
First, people want to be kind, they really do. It is as if there is a thirst within that calls them to respond in openness, trust, and compassion. I watched as a young woman ran after a man who had inadvertently dropped some paper currency. I stood amazed as a shopped that had closed reopened in response to my belated request for help. I have repeatedly seen people who had very right to claim a seat on a bus; the old, heavily pregnant, and handicapped, give it up for someone they saw in even greater need than themselves. London is not an exceptionally nice city and I do not know that I could recommend it as being safer than anywhere else, however I can testify to what individuals have done in response to the situation around them.
This leads me on to the second observation.
It isn’t the danger without that I worry about but what lies within. When I look around me as I walk through the alleys of the City I rarely see something that brings fear to my heart, yet there is danger. The greatest danger lurks just beyond my vision – my self.
When Wisdom observers that “a whore is a bottomless pit; a loose woman can get you in deep trouble fast. She’ll take you for all you’ve got; she’s worse than a pack of thieves.” (Proverbs 23.27, 28) Wisdom is pointing out something fairly obvious. What is less visual is who brought me to this point – my self. The City is a walking land minds – dangers about at every step.
There is only one protection. As I sit in the presence, “be” with the Divine, I am protected. Otherwise I am running with the wolves and risking my life.