One day last week I was doing my daily early morning round of collecting rubbish from around the Cathedral.
I saw someone who I had never seen before standing on the side of the Cathedral. He had obviously just come out of the 6.30am Mass. I nodded and continued collecting the rubbish.,
Thinking me to be the gardener he approached me to talk.
He had just arrived in Darwin from interstate, and had been in quarantine for two days before being unexpectedly released because of a change of classification. He knew no-one. We started talking. As I had to move to other things, I made a time to meet later that day for a ‘proper’ chat. Something told me that I needed to listen to this man.
As we met that afternoon I could see that God had certainly been active in this man’s life. I will call him John; it is not his real name.
I saw a good man before me, and that our encounter that morning had not been just a chance encounter.
As we talked, I felt the presence of the Holy Spirit. God was obviously calling this John to walk with Him. We have had other chats since in an unfolding story.
Every encounter has potential. I was very enriched by this experience of God’s grace in a human being.
This was yet another reminder by God for me to be present to all encounters with others.
Jesus said to us:
“If someone asks you to walk one mile, walk two miles with them. If someone asked for your cloak, give them a tunic as well.”
God is generous to us.
Our quality of life is enriched when we are present to each other.
God speaks to us through each other. Will I allow God to surprise me?
I wonder how many opportunities we miss in being there for one another.
Simply listening with respect can provide the space needed for encounters with God through each other.
Listening without judgement, and without trying to direct others, just allowing God to do the directing and for us to accompany with respect and love.