Does it matter?, I thought, but I didn’t have the nerve to voice my opinion as I passed them.
Two elderly ladies walking towards each other. Friendly greeting from the first, ‘Good morning.’ The second, with a hint of uncertainty, ‘Do I know you?’
Of course, I didn’t hear the rest of the conversation, nor was it my business, so as likely as not, I got the wrong end of the stick.
I continued my journey, meditating on how difficult we often find this form of pass-time-of-day communication.
Why can’t we have a joke, talk about the weather or criticise the government without feeling on edge about how our acquaintance will respond? Whether we have had any contact before is surely not important.
Was Jesus ever fazed by the people he met on the dusty streets of his town? I get the impression from the biblical records that he was able to rise to any occasion presented to him. Whether rich or poor, educated or ignorant, sick or healthy, he was right there with a word appropriate to the situation. He was such a good communicator wherever he went.
If we were to see him in our neighbourhood somewhere, would there not be a smiling ‘Hello’, and a willingness to stop and chat? Would there not be a topic of conversation relevant to our circumstances, and in a language we could understand?
Would he not be able to see deep into our hearts, with all our joys, needs and frustrations, just as he did the people of his own generation? Would he not offer hope and consolation to us? Certainly, and we would go away blessed. So much evidence of that is given us in the Gospels, and he hasn’t changed, I’m certain.
A song I learned in church years ago appeals to me just as much now as it did then. ‘He lives, he lives, Christ Jesus lives today. He walks with me and talks with me along life’s narrow way.’
The lyrics are a bit old-fashioned, perhaps, but the sentiments are still meaningful.