Because I was robbed on the bus and valuable documents were taken, I was in the process of replacing them. I was on a descending escalator when I heard a very large man say, “Pray for me.” I thought he was talking to someone else so I turned to look behind me. (I had forgotten I had worn my collar.) He continued, “You, with the collar! Pray for me.” He waited for me as I stepped off the escalator. I said, “Of course I will pray for you. What is your name?” There was another man on the escalator who was surprised by the conversation, and wanted me to pray for him as well.
Looking for the office to replace my ID card, I asked the young man directions. He started to point in the direction of the office. He changed his mind and escorted me to the office. While walking to the office I explained to him what had happened. Upon entering the office he approached the clerk, told her why I was there, and told the people waiting in line we were not there to go ahead of them, but wanted information. He explained to the clerk that I was a priest. Upon hearing this, some of the people in line introduced themselves to me while the clerk spoke to her supervisor of my situation. All of this happened in a matter of seconds, and before my guide departed, he, too, asked me to pray for him.
As I was leaving the office, one of the women I met standing in line wanted to know more about my priesthood. We sat for a while as I listened to her, exchanged information, and then we went our separate ways.
All of this happened, I think, because I had forgiven the person/persons who had robbed me. A reminder: there are good people in the world. I remember asking to see the world as God sees the world and I was given that chance. God’s world is divine and beautiful as well as wounded and hurting.
February 8, 2012