On any other Delancy Street morning I might have asked the man for directions or help. His smart, clean blue jeans and work boots told a story of dedication, commitment, working with one’s hands. His hair, jacket, and shirt reinforced the story. What caught my eye was found in his hands. His brisk walk was betrayed by the reverence telegraphed by the way his head focused and arms cradled the small brown bag. Puzzled, I glanced for more details as I walked by. The can was already opened, wrapped in brown paper as if to protect it from the wind and other elements. As my eyes shifted I caught the logo, colors, and knew instantly what the object of affection was. My mystery soul mate was worshipping a tall can of Budweiser. Church in this case was held at eight o’clock on a bitterly cold morning under the bright sun and in the wind of New York’s Delancy Street.
I walked on to the subway wondering about the cost, passion, and opportunity. How is his family and friends? What will the future bring? Does he know of Hope?
The image still travels with me. I struggle with the nagging notion of doing something, anything to break the cycle. The image reminds me metaphorically of too many missed opportunities, self centric cycles, and short sighted visions. Regardless of the handicap, the impact is the same.
The scene and reflections gives birth to a two-fold curse and to hope.
“Doom to those who get up early and start drinking booze before breakfast, who stay up all hours of the night drinking themselves into a stupor.” (Isaiah 5.11) Damnation to those knowing and not engaged.
To any and all, you may have missed yesterday but the present is here. Anything can happen. Everything is possible. We do hold the key, no matter how bleak, dark, and difficult life may seem. And…Divinity is here is help. Life experiences are a foundation on which compassion, love, and mercy can be delivered to those around us and, most importantly, to our self.
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