I went to Boston this weekend with a friend, another pastor from our church. I’m going to take this week and write about four people (which yes happen to be all women) we encountered – the pretty lady in the pub, the small black lady on the subway, the French hostess at the restaurant, and the blond maid on the plane.
The Pretty Lady in the Pub:
We were having lunch just off of Boston Common with two staff members from Park Street Church. My friends were talking about the fifty or so colleges in Boston when I noticed her. She had brown hair hanging to her shoulders. She was well-dressed with her coat still on, her scarf hung over the back of her chair. She was on the other side of the small room, but I could still see her lip quivering. Her eyes were watering and she shielded her face with her right hand. She’d speak something and then wipe her tears.
The man across the table was ten or so years older and held an emotionless face. The man certainly wasn’t her friend or brother for there was no compassion shown. Just short comments in return and a stone cold gaze. My first thought was he was leaving and she was heartbroken, though her tears could’ve been tears of sorrow over her own regretful actions. She was falling apart and I didn’t know why.
We finished our meal, paid our bill, and she was still sitting there crying with her coat on when we left.
I wanted to do something, to say something, to offer them some sort of hope for whatever predicament they found themselves in, but I didn’t think there was anything I could do. It wasn’t a conversation I could have. There was no open door to enter. I want to be granted the power to heal people, to sprinkle some magical dust over them as I walked out of the restaurant knowing all their problems and issues would simply disappear.
Sometimes I get to play a minor non-magical-dust-sprinkling role in people working through a issue, though sometimes I try to play a role and nothing happens. And other times, like this, I’m an outsider watching something sad which I never get to enter.