Thursday, July 24, 2008

Road Crossing

We become neighbors when we are willing to cross the road for one another. There is so much separation and segregation: between black people and white people, between gay people and straight people, between young people and old people, between sick people and healthy people, between prisoners and free people, between Jews and Gentiles, Muslims and Christians, Protestants and Catholics, Greek Catholics and Latin Catholics.

There is s a lot of road crossing to do. We are all very busy in our own circles. We have our own people to go to and our own affairs to take care of. But if we could cross the road once in a while and pay attention to what is happening on the other side, we might indeed become neighbors.

Henri Nouwen

9 comments:

Linda K said...

As the mother-in-law of a young man from Palestine, I say Amen!

k said...

I just LOVE this. k

Rebekah said...

There is always something we can give and receive from everyone! Broaden your world, so you can experience more!

Jan said...

Perfect picture! Such good words that I feel putting them on my blog, except that I've already posted three times today and that's enough for one day.

A. Rebecca Fleming said...

I did something this morning that made me feel good. I had dropped the kids off at summer camp and I noticed at the corner of the street that there was an elderly gentleman dressed in his pj's looking very confused. I thought that possibly he was doing his morning exercise - but it was really weird that he was standing there. There was a whole bunch of people at the bus stop and no one was paying attention to him ... so he kept just sort of standing there looking out into the busy intersection.

I dropped the kids off and started to drive back down the street and saw that he was still there. I needed to get to work - and I didn't want to really get caught up in the hassle of this because I assumed that he probably lived on the street and someone would come looking for him ... so I needed to get to work - but I had such a strong sense that something was wrong that I stopped the car and parked.

I called 911 and told the police what was going on and that they needed to send someone out to check it out. So the 911 operator told me that I should talk to him because maybe he knew what he was doing - but in any event they would send someone.

So ... I got out of the car and approached him and in the back of my mind I thought the worst thing he could do would be to tell me to mind my own business .. but as i walked towards him he lit up like a Christmas tree. I asked him if he was o.k. and he said that he wanted to go home ... but home was in San Jose and that he had walked. So I asked him where he lived and he said that he lived with his mother. He was about 70 ... so I told him that I would get him home but that we needed to go back to the corner and wait.

So - the police offer showed up about 5 minutes later ... and in the meantime I saw that he had a medical bracelet on which said his name was Paul and that he is "forgetful"

So the bracelet had a serial number on it - so I called the phone number on the bracelet and it was one of those "Life Alert" deals - so the gal at the end of the line was most helpful ... and by the time I had given her the information - the police had showed up.

Turns out that the man had walked about 3 miles. As I was looking at him I noticed that he had different shoes of different colors on his feet - he had his pj bottoms on with boxer shorts over the top of that - then his PJ top on with a shirt on it ...so he was definitely not wearing exercise gear.

I guess what blows me away is how many drivers, walkers, joggers, cyclists saw this man and just went on their way.

In any event - he was brought back home by the police. Paul is safe at home.

ROBERTA said...

Fabulous story becky....so glad you listened to that small voice....you were Christ in that moment - i love it....i have goosebumps...as Jesus said, "what you do for the least of these" and all that.....good on ya sis!

Karen N. said...

Did you send Barack your quote yesterday?

"The walls between old allies on either side of the Atlantic cannot stand. The walls between the countries with the most and those with the least cannot stand. The walls between races and tribes, natives and immigrants, Christian and Muslim and Jew cannot stand. These now are the walls we must tear down."
SENATOR BARACK OBAMA, speaking in Berlin.

Sandy D. said...

If Obama doesn't get around much, no, he probably didn't read your quote, but he may well have read Henri Nouwen.

blessings

Jane said...

I thought the VERY SAME THING when I heard Obama say that in a speech - yesterday I think. That was a "woo-woo" moment for sure. Karen just remembered it long enough to send you the quote and joke with you!!

Thanks for the good samaritan story - those situations just make my heart ache for the elderly like that. Good for your sis!