how many have i missed?

(I wrote this last Friday, read it today and was convicted about it again, so I figured I’d post it.)

I stopped by my local Bank of America today to order a new card, seeing that mine has a habit of breaking somehow. I sat down with a personal banker named Montrell, who was nice enough. During one of those awkward silences where he was working away at his computer, I ventured a question: “So, do you enjoy your job?”

It was a simple question. I was really just trying to be polite to be honest, say something to keep the awkward silences from being too awkward before I could get out the door and on my way to the other things on my to do list. It was a busy day, after all.

Fast forward twenty minutes. We had talked about his dream of opening up his own carpet cleaning business. The difficult divorce that was filed only yesterday because his marriage “is what it is.” Jesus, and the Gospel. The irony that Jesus is the only thing that can satisfy us, yet we tend to run to anything but Him to find joy and end up miserable and more broken than when we began. All of this came from, “So, do you enjoy your job?”

What did I learn from this? That life is much more than a series of transactions to get you what you want, and get it fast. There are people on the other ends of those transactions, people with stories and dreams, who are going through divorces and so many other things, who need to be told that Jesus is the answer to their frantic longings. Mostly, in the rush and anonymity of our world, I forget this. I am in a hurry, and I want this dude to hurry up with all his clickety clicks on the computer, so I can get out of this place. How long does it take to order a debit card, after all? A transaction—get me what I want and do it fast. Then, I find myself in the middle of a good…a really good conversation about the hope of Jesus and I almost turn pale white at the thought, “How many of these conversations have I missed because I think life is just a series of transactions, and people are inconveniences? How many Montrells have I walked away from because my mind is so full of self-concerning thoughts that I don’t have room to think of a simple question that opens the door for someone to be human?”

There are humans among us, with stories, souls, and scars. They are there, on the other end of our passings and transactions, worries and fears running through their minds just like yours. Maybe…just maybe, hoping for someone to be human with, even though our culture doesn’t make it easy. Even if its just for a moment—a brief reminder that somebody gives a crap, that there are other humans out there.

I hope I don’t forget that tomorrow.

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