She hobbled, bobbing up and down, side to side like an old Ford. It was only her jerky motion that singled her out in the concert crowd.
As she drew nearer to the box where we sat, I could see her more clearly: A mess of short blond curls capping a prematurely aging face. A gut draping over the waist-band of her jeans, outfitted in a t-shirt that read “Love Wins.” My mind made an instant assessment of her that would’ve promptly been discarded as the concert began. But then she came into full view:
Enabling her steps, a metal rod fitted from her right knee into a Nike sneaker where a tibia and fibula should have met up with some metatarsals and phalanges.
She hobbled past me, and I turned my head to follow, as the crowd neglected to part to let her through. I had a thousand questions that would never be answered. The shirt slogan took on a new interpretation, as did the lines etched in her face.
The lights dimmed. The band played. She disappeared into the throng.
Every now and then a person so captures my attention that I found myself desperately wanting to know their story. I wish I gave away my attention like that more often.
I’ve been reading through the Gospels again, getting to know Jesus through older eyes. I just finished up Mark and John. Jesus so often connected with people and became a key moment in their story. He met a woman drawing water in the heat of they day and after their conversation, she believed. He called out to some teenage fishermen while they were fishing, and they followed. He walked upon a funeral procession one day, and the boy who had died lived.
He taught crowds, but He conversed with individuals. He had time for people and their stories.
There’s a famous quote attributed to reverend and author Ian MacLaren that’s coming to mind today,
Be kind; everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.
Jesus saw people. And He was kind. I want to be more like that.
Photo Credit: Roman Kraft