I am a plebe, all over again. I find myself sitting in a small caf? on Hester in the lower east side of Manhattan wondering how many other neighborhoods lie undiscovered. The conversations in this narrow hole in the wall are amazing. While everyone seems to be a stranger in a strange land, the conversations celebrating the essence of what makes this neighborhood unique are encouraging, wonderful, and, each in their own way, full of hope.
I wish everyone could experience the wonder and awe in this place. The willingness to engage in life is contagious. Many have put their fears and doubts aside. Instead of fighting everything new, they have reached out to accept those in the community as long lost brothers and sisters. Tensions exist. You can see it in the struggle between preserving what was, a traditional Jewish working community, dealing with what has come, the steady expansion of Chinatown, and trying to comprehend what is own the way. There are many emotions on and just below the surface. Many of the shops still close Friday noon in preparation for Sabbath. Concurrently, many of the strangers within the traditional gates continue to push the edges away from the established norm.
Far too often I find myself running from the new and to where I am comfortable. There is an alternative. Mary established a model centuries ago which still works today. The story notes that “Mary stood outside the tomb weeping. As she wept, she knelt to look into the tomb and saw two angels sitting there, dressed in white, one at the head, the other at the foot of where Jesus' body had been laid. They said to her, ‘Woman, why do you weep?’
‘They took my Master,” she said, “and I don't know where they put him.’” (John 20.11-13)
Most, this author included, would have not engaged with someone outside of my paradigm. Many would struggle to begin the conversation, yet Mary was willing to reveal her soul.
Today like any day is one filled with wonder and opportunity. I will engage.
2021 Copyright © Daily Whispers.