Wednesday, October 8, 2008
Sacks and the City
" They are like children sitting in the marketplace calling out to one another: 'We played the flute for you and you did not dance, we sang a dirge and you did not cry'" Luke 7:32
Yesterday, my mother and I went to White Castle for lunch. She is here for a few days with me, and I am trying to make the most of it for her. For many people, White Castle is something they know from the Harold and Kumar movie, but for my Mom is signifies something very different. When my mother and dad were first married, they lived in Clark Township in New Jersey, about 15 miles away from where we live now. My Dad was a senior in seminary and was ordained so he could plant and build a church in that community. It was then mostly farms which is hard to believe it you saw Clark today. Anyway, they had very little money. She was 19 and he was 25 when they married in 1942. So, they were kids and it was wartime. And their big "date" was to save up all the bottles, take them back at once for the deposits and then take the money they had collected and buy as much White Castle as they could with their wartime dollars. For my Mom, our experience was not only a greasy quick lunch, but a romantic memory, a sensory explosion of all things adult, wonderful and thrilling. That little meal we shared yesterday was far more than food. It was a conversation and relationships rekindled with early fires. Now, she can't eat at White Castle very often because of her health issues, but she can, every so often, delight in something that is magic and celebratory for her, even if other people only see it as fast food.
Jesus encounters a generation of people who cannot see the mystical value in anything around them. They won't dance or cry because everything is measured out, evaluated by lawyers and accountants, everything is counted and compared. We live in a world where money and measurement reign supreme. And we can miss the small, transforming moments, judging them insignificant and inappropriate. We can cast others aside because they seem to have no value to us.
Today, I ask God to give me the wisdom to see the small moments of love revealed in my life. Today, I ask to have the eyes to see old things in new ways. I ask to not measure and compare but to value everyone with the eyes of God, who sent Jesus for us all. May we today slow down enough to revel in the small moments of God's transforming love, and reach out so that others might know that love in the small and broken places of their lives.