Jesus smiled at me today

Jesus smiled at me today, his radiant, beaming, toothless ‘thank you’, life’s extravagant gift. To me. Gracious unearned gift.

YESTERDAY I passed him by. Twice, that I recall. First outside Gloria Jean’s. It all happened in a blink. I scanned the guy’s pathetic plea for help scrawled on a torn-off piece of cardboard, the little red man turned green and I was swept up in the mad rush to cross the street. Poor bastard, I thought, not recognizing him.

Seconds later, outside the Station of the Cross, I saw him again. This time he blew the sax for coins. He was good. His music wrapped me up like a netted fish, suspending me in his ocean. I paused for thirty seconds, stood there listening as I checked the screens. Tore myself away with neither nod nor thanks and headed for Platform 4.

Image
Southern Cross Railway Station, Melbourne.

Twice you passed me by. The thought bubbled up, immediate, unthought and fully formed, from that place deep within where word is etched in flesh:  ‘Inasmuch as you did not do it …’ It was you? I stopped mid-pace and glanced over my shoulder toward the busker and beyond, across the intersection of Spencer and Collins to where the homeless guy still sat cross-legged and hopeless. It was you?

TODAY I walked by Gloria Jean’s again, pressed for time, hot, sweaty and ready for the train journey home. He was there again, same guy, same scrawled plea for loose change. I’d passed him, a good two paces, before I knew what I must do.

I turned and pressed a small gift into his palm. He looked up at me and smiled and gave me a warm ‘thank you.’ I was a netted fish again, deep in an ocean of love. Jesus smiled at me today, his radiant, beaming, toothless ‘thank you’, life’s extravagant gift. To me. Gracious unearned gift.

Whatsoever you do – by Timothy Schmalz

Namaste.

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