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those other people


This is a photo I took on the street in New York City a few years ago.

Yesterday I was standing in line at the movie theatre to buy my $10 popcorn when a young guy just stepped right in front of me. I wondered if he had not known I was in line, or perhaps did not see me (I do have a certain invisibility factor), but in all honesty, I think he did it deliberately. He chatted with the people in front of him so I thought, oh he's just waiting with them, but after their order was filled, he stepped up and placed his own order. I was dumbfounded by his rudeness (he never acknowledged me or said excuse me or nothing!) and was starting to get a bit annoyed at him, huffing and sighing and shaking my head, when I remembered I once did the exact same thing and joined my friends in line, ignoring the person I was cutting in front of and got an earful from her - how embarrassing! So I let the frustration go and hoped that I had indeed learned something about letting others go first in all these years. I can't judge people for doing the very things that my unsurrendered heart has desires to do sometimes as well.

Tonight I have 12 people that I have never met coming over to my house to spend the night. They are a youth group from a church in Saint John, New Brunswick on their way to Toronto for the Easter weekend. I have been cleaning and tidying and rearranging furniture most of the afternoon and finally feel ready. Part of me cringes at the thought of a dozen strangers invading my home, but the better, less fearful part of me, knows that this is why we have a home. May my heart and my voice and my body language learn to say "Welcome" more often than "Get Lost" for I do remember what it is like to be a stranger in a strange place and need a friend or just a kind word.

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