“‘For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’” Matthew 25:35-40, ESV
With cool air blowing on my face, comfortable cloth seats relieving each muscle, and soft music filling my ears, I drive to work. There may be stresses outside the car, but inside there’s peace, relief, and comfort. Though there’s only glass separating me from the rest of the world, I’m completely unaware of what’s experienced outside. When I
open my eyes to the world outside the car, I see a mom walking along the road with her three kids as I exit the seminary. I see someone’s dad or brother living under the interstate as I cross the train tracks. I
see a foundation where someone’s home of 30 years used to stand. I see someone’s son playing football in an overgrown field as I drive through a school zone. I see someone’s granddaughter walking out of preschool with her glittery masterpiece proudly in hand as I pull in the parking lot. I see a co-worker getting off her rusty bicycle and wiping her forehead as I turn off my car. I see Jesus.
In the Big Easy, things are slow. Locals talk slow, walk slow, and eat slow. They’re always willing to just sit and listen to music (preferably jazz) or sit and have a meal (preferably red beans and rice). They know how to stop and appreciate blessings. It amazes me that when I focus on my own environment—as easy as it may be—I often see the flaws. Instead of enjoying air conditioning, I moan that it’s not working fast enough. Instead of relaxing in the comfort of my vehicle, I long to sit at home. Instead of listening to the music around me, I tune it out. Yet, when I look past myself, I see blessings. I see Jesus.