2 Corinthians 4:13-15
I usually take the highway. But the second week in September, when the United Nations General Assembly is in session, New York City shuts down. The highway exit near the U.N. headquarters at 42nd Street and the East River is sealed off. The area near the building is clogged with garbage truck armadas and Jersey barriers. These precautions may protect the global diplomats, but they snarl traffic and enrage New Yorkers. 1010WINS radio warns us: “It’s UN week. Prepare yourselves.”
But I forget, of course. I see the closed exit too late and have to grouchily instruct the cab driver toward the next exit. We crawl along, not on the elevated path, but on the side streets. I frantically type instructions on my phone, searching for alternatives. But Waze is red all the way to work. Resigned, I put away my phone and settle in.
Soon I begin to notice the New Yorkers on this sunny morning. A burly crossing guard greets children with a hug. I pass a park with a half dozen Chinese grandparents gracefully practicing tai chi. There’s a dog walker with several leashes, convening his own canine assembly. A beat cop laughs with a businesswoman who gestures with her morning coffee. Women in hijabs serve bagels and Boston creams from carts. I see parents clutching tiny backpacks, escorting kindergarteners to class, the kids whizzing past my slow cab on scooters. I watch sweaty yoga ladies chatting with fruit vendors near the subway entrances.
This visit to the cross streets reminds me that human connection is evidence of God’s grace, the source of thanksgiving. I watch this grace extend to more and more people from my perch in the back of that cab. I sense God’s presence here. I am grateful for the detour. I’ll try to extend that grace of God today.
How can you find grace in a detour? How could you change up your daily path to find thanksgiving?
God, bring me into your presence and connect me to others doing the same. Amen.