A homeless lady had come to get the little cart with all her belongings that she had stashed behind the beautiful big white pillar next to me.
I like to sit in the local library to study and write my blogs. Not only is it a quiet place to work but I always try to get a table right next to the floor-to-ceiling library window so I can look out onto the big white pillars and landscaping that surrounds the library.
Today, as I was settling in to start writing, I noticed something move right by my window. I was a bit startled because it moved only a few inches away from my table. But as I checked to see what was moving I realized that It wasn’t something moving, it was someone moving.
A homeless lady had come to get the little cart with all her belongings that she had stashed behind the beautiful big white pillar next to me. The homeless often come to the library to sit inside for a while and to clean up, if they can get away with it. I had not seen her stuff nor did I see her come for it until both she and the cart began to leave the safety of her hideout.
Her movement both surprised me and moved me. I got over the surprise but I could not escape the irony of the moment. Here we were, two people, two human beings living in two completely different worlds sitting on opposite sides of a glass window. We were just a few inches away. I could have touched her or grabbed her cart were it not for the glass window between us.
She had once been in my world but I have never been in hers.
Here we were just inches apart from one another. I could not reach out to her and she was oblivious of the guy writing at a table on the other side of the glass. We were just going through the struggles of our lives, her struggles probably more urgent than mine, and doing what we both do in our worlds. But here she is, right next to me. She is living and breathing on the same planet as I do. She lives in my city, in my neighborhood, and is standing next to me right now. But the glass window keeps us apart. I can’t talk to her or hear her story. I can’t tell her how much she matters to God and how he came to earth 2000 years ago just for her. I can’t give her some food or offer a place for her to get out of the cold. I can’t even wish her a Merry Christmas. I can’t reach her because there is a window between us.
Two people that God loves so much separated by a glass window.
I’m shaken by the image. Two people that God loves so much separated by a glass window. It makes me wonder how many windows I have in my life that keep me from reaching out to people that matter to God. The windows are comfortable and they keep me safe, but the windows also isolate me and keep me from doing what I was created to do, which to connect with people.
Don’t let windows separate you from the world around you. Open the window or go around the window. Get to where people live, where they hurt, and where they struggle. Live the love. Take the risk. Move past the safety glass. When you do you will rediscover that God’s mercy shines brightest in the darkest places.