Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Love-Hate Relationships

Sometimes I hate my city. Boston has atrocious traffic that I am often at zen peace with...but this is not the case when I'm running late and driving in places I don't know well. This happened to me 2 days in a row and I wanted to scream. I was hating the rain, hating the dark, hating the pedestrian whom I didn't stop for that later knocked on my window and told me off about not stopping. ARGH! Needless to say, I didn't get where I needed to go today. I'm SO taking the T to my appointment tomorrow. I don't care if it takes an hour...I just can't stand driving in the city any more this week.

But sometimes the love of my city is so strong I'm afraid my heart might burst out of my chest. I had one of those weekends, playing tourguide to my brother and his girlfriend, sharing this place I adore. I felt like Carrie Bradshaw in the S&TC episode "I Heart NY." Saturday night we met up at Park Street and hung out there for a few minutes. An atypical street preacher was there, not so far from us, yelling with all his might. He wasn't condemning anyone, but rather reading parables of Jesus. Once I finally got a handle on what he was saying, I recognized the words of the prodigal son:
"The son said to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son." (Luke 15:21, NIV)

The breath was sucked out of my chest. I have long seen Boston as one of the prodigals to whom I am called to preach. I remembered the call again, sitting on that brick wall, listening to a wild-eyed man scream out words of redemption rather than damnation.

No matter how I feel on any given day, I'm here for a purpose.

8But you, Israel, my servant,
Jacob, whom I have chosen,
the offspring of Abraham, my friend;
9you whom I took from the ends of the earth,
and called from its farthest corners,
saying to you, "You are my servant,
I have chosen you and not cast you off";
10fear not, for I am with you;
be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand (Isaiah 41:8-10, ESV)

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