“Each time you say hello to a stranger, your heart acknowledges over and over again that we are all family.” ― Suzy Kassem
This morning I had the distinct pleasure of attending two church services. The first at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church and the other, the First Presbyterian Church across the street. The good part was that both services had the same readings, so today, I actually remembered the Gospel without looking it up to write my post.
The Gospel was the story of Jesus meeting the Samaritan woman at the well. First, Jews and Samaritans didn’t get along and weren’t supposed to speak to one another, and then, women were not supposed to talk to strange men, and this woman did not have the best reputation. But, Jesus not only spoke to her, but revealed Himself as the Messaih. This is an important lesson, and happens to be the longest recorded scripture reading in the Bible.
My take on it…Jesus is showing, by example and words, that we should treat all people with respect, kindness, and compassion, whether it be friends, family, enemies or strangers. This is not necessarily a religious virtue, but should be just an everyday human kind virtue. It was a good lesson.
After church, Jim and I went to the local greasy-spoon diner and sat by the window at a vintage (nice way of saying real old) booth with torn red vinyl seats and a well-worn Formica table. The food was good, inexpensive, and the waitress was attentive. As we sat there, an elderly gentleman shuffled ever so slowly from his car to the door. It must have taken him a good ten minutes. He sat up at the counter and ordered a hamburger, no fries, no chips and water. The waitress poured him a cup of coffee, as he protested that he didn’t order it. She smirked and said to the regular, “Just drink your coffee John.” He smiled back and drank his coffee.
I made a smiley face in my hash browns, and you can’t beat biscuits and gravy with your omelette.
When we got our check, Jim asked our waitress to put John’s burger on our bill, and I handed her a $20 bill for her tip. That was probably the first time she ever got a $20 tip for a $17 check. And, maybe that was the first time someone bought old John a meal, maybe not. But, it was a nice way to share a little kindness and friendship on a fine Sunday with a couple of strangers. Also, a nice way to share today’s Gospel by example.
It was a beautiful warm day, and when we went out for an evening walk around Boomer Lake, God painted a picture perfect sky, and a red-winged blackbird squawked as he balanced carefully on a long bare limb, silhouetted by the setting sun.