I am not you but I am not other than you, either

I am not you but I am not other than you, either September 7, 2015

Taking my title one step further we read James Finley’s words:

“As this soaks into me, what are the implications of this in the way I act in the world, in relationships with other people?”

Such is life.

We travel across the ocean to see the eiffel tower’s dazzling lights

Family Vacation
eat the baguettes, take the pictures and make the memories. When I saw this waterway surrounded by the centuries old charm+ moss- covered stone walls, I couldn’t wait to capture it to share back home. And yet this morning I am beset with grief for my inaction in this town of Bayeux.

 

This very same afternoon as we strolled the belgian blocked, pedestrian-only streets, apple tarte tatin in hand we came upon a walking skeleton of a man. He didn’t speak any English and put out his hand asking me for some help. The tears return as I recall his look of desperation and well of deep loneliness. I reached in my bag and pulled out a small coin, nothing much more than a dime and said sorry this is all I have (a lie).

In the states, I give to the homeless regularly in Philadelphia but somehow being on vacation and approached on foot by a man who could ruin our day if he kept following us filled my head with a bit of fear. We had heard plenty of stories to be wary of the gypsies and pickpockets.

My heart said differently.

I walked back toward him and offered him the remaining half of my tarte and had a moment of being happy with myself. As my family went into the shop to purchase large crepes filled with sweets I watched him descend the hill behind the gorgeous Notre Dame church in which  I had just spent about an hour praying

I was filled with shame. I began to cry and went to buy him a crepe. I wished I was brave enough to invite him to eat with us. And then he was gone, out of sight. I had missed my opportunity to be like Jesus.

In Matthew 25:35 we read— For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me.

I sit on the grass in front of my home, babe in arms, belly full, weeping + pleading with God to forgive me for not recognizing Jesus in this stranger; For not following my heart.

I acknowledge the ache in the center of my chest where it hurts for betraying her sweet, gentle nature and desire to connect and offer simple sustenance.

This is what self-betrayal looks like. This is what self-betrayal feels like.

 

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