This week is full of brumous things: new grey polish from forever 21, girrafagous palm trees in the fog; sludging a mop across Studio B, retaping gray Marley floors.
On Sunday I sloshed my way through mist and wind to big church in the city. Right before Montgomery Street, the guy who I’d noticed get on the train bothered to start mumbling at me. I didn’t notice because I wanted to be friends or found him particularly attractive. I noticed because I feel like I have to. I noticed because his pants wants were so low we could all see much more than any of us could have possibly been interested in. I noticed because I was hoping he’d just look if he had to, but not touch or talk to me. The funny thing is, there really is nothing you can do. That day I was scrubbin it up hard in a loose fitting steel colored sweatshirt and no make up, and as usual my earbuds were in. Nevertheless, I got the elbow tap and the ‘scuse me miss. Being the introvert that I am there are some days when I could sit next to a wholesome seeming elderly lady with three cookie jars in her lap and hope she left me alone, and sometimes the benefit of the doubt gets the best of me. So I took out one ear bud in case he just needed directions. Predictably, that wasn’t the case. Luckily the train stopped and he’d never learned to enunciate, so I just said sorry, I can’t understand what you’re saying, put the bud back in and noped out of that one fast.
On the way back from church I got an old starbucks cup thrusted into my face, so I looked up and filled it with a five dollar bill. The grateful recipient’s eyes grew wide and he showed me his medical amidtance wrist band. With very few teeth, he told me how his mother broke her ribs and died of pnuemonia and that he missed her. And also, he had suicidal tendencies, but now he was going to get a donut and a coffee so, thank you and Merry Christmas!
This morning I was all of three minutes away from my house by foot before having to ignore men leaning out of barber shops and pulling over to roll down car windows. Again, it doesn’t matter what I was wearing. Don’t let anyone convince you that that’s ever the point. Evidently it didn’t even matter that I had earbuds in and aviators on and every other idfwy gesture I could think of in place. But these are still people and they still need Jesus and love and compassion. They’re just not finna get it from me. ha.
To live in a world where I have to make these kinds of judgement calls on the daily is grievous and exhausting. But as winter comes with more days etched in fine grey lines, I take comfort in the God who colors across our borders and breaks down our boxes and removes the roofs of our feasting halls. The God who hates sin and won’t entertain foolishness, but has lavished the world with unyielding grace and compassion. The God who is Immanuel and hope and light and love. I will linger in this winter while yearning for longer days.