I spent my lunch hour yesterday sitting alone in a dirty-ish restaurant near the railroad tracks.
I don’t mind eating lunch alone; in fact, I’ll be honest: I love spending my lunch hour alone…it gives me a break from the noise and frenzy of my job. I sit and answer texts and emails and play Words With Friends and write blog posts and just enjoy my ONLY single, solitary hour of TOTAL ‘ME TIME’ that I can manage to carve out of my day.
And furthermore, that’s why I chose to eat at this particular establishment…. It’s quiet, putting it at a distinct advantage, at least in my book, over the decent retaurants in town.
From my booth by the window, I see a white guy sitting on the bench outside wearing a FUBU shirt and smoking cigarettes. I wonder if he has any idea what FUBU means? I ponder whether he hand-picked that shirt at the mall, whether it was a hand-me-down, or whether he removed it from the cold dead carcass of a fallen rival gang member… In this part of town, on the other side of the railroad tracks, you just never can tell.
He’s just finished his lunch, but ten minutes ago he was at the only other occupied booth talking about a woman, and his friend was admonishing him to MOVE ON, MAN! Apparently his woman had RUNNOFT for a week and nobody knew where she went, and FUBU couldn’t quite come to grips with that. And my heart hurts for this complete stranger. And I’m pretty sure God didn’t intend for things to be this way.
A girl who looks to be about college age walks down the sidewalk flailing her cigarette wildly as she carries on an animated conversation with …nobody. And I can’t help but wonder what torment in her past made her into this broken human being, and I can’t help but think that God’s heart, if not that of her mother, must have broken for this girl at some point along the way.
A scrawny, shabbily-dressed man strolls by and I wonder if he’ll have a bed to sleep in tonight or breakfast in the morning.
Crumbling houses across the street.
Broken cars on blocks.
A mangy stray cat or two.
And I can’t help but wonder how far this earth has fallen from where God intended it to be on the day he placed that first human he so lovingly formed with His hands into that perfect paradise garden he created just for him to share with the ideal bride he’d provide just to help meet his every need.
This week has been a hard one for me, one with sleepless nights, countless tears shed, overwhelming stress, and pain in my heart.
I’m fine, so don’t worry (mom), but its been a hard one.
It’s been a hard one for many people I know: one friend is reeling from the unexpected loss of his job. Two marriages that I know of reached their breaking point within the last few days, and another one is plummeting down that road. And so on. So many people I know, or know of, are being crushed under the enormous weight of some sort of trial.
And I can’t help but wish for the day when this earth is no more and we get to go Home. God wanted so much more for us, and someday it will be.
And sitting here in this booth all alone, looking out at the brokenness and ruin as far as I can see through a dirty restaurant window, I cant help but think I’m not the only one longing for that day.