The train to Bronxville was a community of strangers bound by convenience, in this case a train car. A pair of Eastern European women was chatting about life in their native language while parents struggled with the shared bond of kids being kids. I was, like many, silently reflecting in a world of my own imagination.
I found myself reflecting on the sight of an older Indian executive pouring through a series of articles. I caught myself wondering about his life; where he had come from, was he on his way home to family, what were his values. I found myself trying to read upside down from fifteen feet away. I could almost grasp the title, but not quite. The intrigue was getting to me as we pulled into an intermediate stop just beyond the Bronx.
A well-dressed, older, and humble black woman caught the attention of our community. She was in an intense, frustrated conversation with one of the train’s conductors who happened to be controlling the doors during our stop in the station.
“The ticket machine isn’t working. How much am I going to have to pay if I get on the train?”
“Eight-dollars, it is the least that I can charge.”
“My ticket only cost three.”
“I understand. I have no choice.”
“How much are you going to charge?”“I must charge eight-dollars.”
As she boarded muttering about how wicked the conductor was, the conductor came with his printed regulations in hand. As he approached, the woman reached the Indian executive. The bull was confronting the matador. Everyone knew who was going to win, even the woman. The executive, silently, almost without a glance, reached into his pocket and held up a ten-dollar bill. With a “thank you God”, the woman took the ten and handed it to the conductor in one smooth motion.
I saw his heart.
Ironically, God says, “I know all about your pretentious poses, your officious comings and goings, and, yes, the tantrums you throw against me.” (Isaiah 37.28) I know and I love you unconditionally, completely, and eternally.
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