"If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even 'sinners' love those who love them." - Lk. 6:32
somedays we meet and other days we don't. somedays are the result of her seeing me first. other days occur when i spy her first and quickly change my scheduled route.
her name is helen. she is kind, has a face inscribed with lines and lives at teh bottom of my street. she is a recent retiree from beverly hospital, spends her summer vacation in st. lou and cannot stand her sister. i know the latter facts because she has told me time and again. God knows, i never would have asked.
i really wish that i could love helen by listening to her stories time and again. i would like to be the kind of person who could stop fidgeting long enough to look into her pale blue eyes and read between those aged lines. but i cannot.
if helen was one of my clients, i would work with her and if she was a distant relative i could learn to love her but, as she is neither, i flee from her.
in truth, i don't feel convicted about my lack of love, but i am burdened with a fair measure of fear. for as the story of abraham and the men on the road to emmaus reminds us, to listen, welcome and express love to the stranger is to do a favor for, and perhaps even invite oneself into the company of, God.
i wish i could welcome helen on account of christian love, but i guess holy fear will have to do.