Journal Entry, 18 October


Note to self.

Last evening while out for a walk I noticed a woman walking towards me with the assistance of a metal walker. It was the type with wheels attached so a person could lean on it as they walked. There was a small shelf attached and on it sat a small cardboard box. She was about a half block away. Directly in front and walking in the same direction as I was a young man. As the woman approached the curb of an intersection she struggled to navigate her walker, and as she did the cardboard box fell from its little shelf spilling its contents; canned goods, maybe she had just come from the store.

The guy that was in front of me picked up his pace—almost sprinted—to help the woman. He gathered the cans, put them in the box, and rather than returning the box to the walker offered to carry it. As grateful as she was she declined and assured him she would be okay.

There are a few places in the Old Testament where it is said we are unable to see the face of God. One was read during worship this morning (and it reminded me of this incident), “You cannot see my face, for no one shall see me and live.” ~ Exodus 33:20

As sacrilegious as it may seem I disagree with Moses on this, and as inspiring it may be I feel it is okay to question—and in some cases disagree—with what is written in the bible. This is an example. Last night when I passed the man and woman on the street and looked at them I saw the face of God in their interaction. This, I believe, is where it is possible to see the face of the Divine in modern the faces of each other.  

During these incredibly confusing and uncertain times in which we find ourselves, this is what we need to focus on...the good which is all around us. “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” ~ Philippians 4:8

In no way am I suggesting we bury our heads in the sand and think “nicey-nice” thoughts and ignore things in the world which need our attention—on the contrary—but just that when we focus on the good in each other we may see things differently and in turn may be motivated to do good in the world. To take action, however big or small steps they may be. “And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” ~ Micah 6:8

Years ago while in a management class at culinary school something one of the instructors said resonated and stuck with me. He told us a statistic that when a person has a pleasurable experience dining out they on average tell two people, but if they have a negative experience they tell 12 people. In short we are 6 times more likely to tell people about the bad stuff, and this was before the internet.

Focus on the good. The world needs it. We need it. And in doing so you may just see the face of God.