Yesterday on the way to the church office I got caught at the traffic lights on Shinfield road (by the university). As I waited for the the lights to change, I noticed a girl with a white stick looking confused and agitated. The lights went green and I was faced with a dilemma... do I head off to the office and get on with my day? Or risk appearing as Mr Friendly Weirdo and asking if she was alright? Thankfully I chose the latter and ended up helping her across the road.
She was a first year engineering student, blind, and the traffic lights don't have an audible signal to say they have changed. She has contacted Reading Borough Council but as yet they haven't upgraded them. Meanwhile she has to run the gauntlet each day ...
As I got back on my bike, tears welled up in my eyes as I realised that yet again I was so focused on my agenda that I nearly missed the needs of another person made in the image of God. The thing is, I suspect that often I am too busy to notice peoples needs or I am more worried about being Mr Friendly Weirdo. The thing is, I spend most of my time rushing from one thing to the next, insulated from those around me by a schedule that has little room for interruptions by strangers. Jesus, however was the opposite of this. He was regularly interrupted and also interrupted people in distress (roof destroyers, widow of Nain, etc). His example is the one for us to follow, after all, he too had a lot on.
Mr Friendly Weirdo needs to visit more often, assuming of course, we want to be more like Jesus.