My morning ritual interrupted
By a car driving in the pedestrian lane of the park
Jolting me out of my directionless prayer for a “normal” day.
I made the holy hand signal for “U-turn”
At a young man with long, brown hair who approached, lowering his window
“This is a one-way, one-lane street; the other lane is for walking and running,”
I said, (perhaps too) cheerily,
“You’re in the wrong one; the park really needs to repaint the dividing line
And restriction symbols to avoid accidents.”
“I am turning around now,” He said (perhaps too) equally cheerily.
“I’m visiting here from California. This place is great! Hey, where are you from?”
He asked as he glanced at the Colorado plate on my rental.
“I’m from here (I sort of lied to try to wrap this up quickly), but I’m in a loaner car.”
Short pause, then he laid it on me:
“There’s something about you, something I recognize. You seem to be a kind person.
Are you a believer?”
With no hesitation, I replied “In?”
But my question was just for show; his question allowed for only one, specific answer.
“Jesus Christ,” He replied.
My mind proffered a mixture of personal experiences, Gandhi quotes, and Doobie Brothers lyrics.
“That’s a complicated question to answer, especially when we’re blocking foot- and car-traffic
At 8:43 in the morning on a Tuesday,” I said. I put the rental into Drive but remained still.
Visibly crestfallen at his missed opportunity to minister to the status of my soul,
“Have a blessed day,” He said, but the air had left his sails.
“You, too.” I returned.
Jesus is just alright with me; but this park is my church
And the trees and animals are my fellow congregants.