Having a tiny parish population wise but with a vast territory nestled in the clouds on top of the absolutely beautiful Smoky Mountains, the Blue Mountains – which beckon one to praise God – requires lots of driving. Especially here in this most visited of National Parks, one gets accustomed to tourists who either drive way too fast (usually motorcycle racers: Be careful!) or way too slow (the elderly on vacation just enjoying the scenery: that’s great!). But then there are the locals who might be tempted to rejoice not too much in the beauty round about them so that they can just be intent on getting to where they are going (they’ve seen it all before: that’s cool too). But then there are the druggies, myopic in ignoring everything, including safety, entitled to be on the road all by themselves and taking revenge on anyone else who is on the road for the crime of also being on the road at the same time as them (which is all boring to witness: sigh).
This guy (who knows what’s up with him…), inches from the back bumper, looks like he crashes into the backs of vehicles as a pass-time, with both corners on the front being damaged.
But can we not see more beauty in the soul of this guy than all the rest of the beauty of creation? I mean, you remember Mother Teresa’s meditation in the hospital, don’t you? Here’s a summary:
“Jesus is the Word Made Flesh. Jesus is the Bread of Life. Jesus is the Victim offered for our sins on the Cross. Jesus is the Sacrifice offered at the Holy Mass. For the sins of the world and mine. Jesus is the Hungry, to be fed. Jesus is the Thirsty, to be satiated. Jesus is the Drunkard, to listen to him. Jesus is the Drug Addict, to befriend him. Jesus is the Prostitute, to remove from danger and befriend.”
Shocking? Jesus has redeemed all. Not all are saved. We want to share the greatest love of our lives to help introduce many more to Jesus, do we not? “What you have done to the least of these, you have done to me.”
I mean, we know nothing about this guy, do we? No. Could he actually not be a druggie or some kind of full-of-himself road rager? Could he have gone through some pretty bad experiences that’s he’s re-living with all too real flashbacks, the all too real PTSD when one is going through an episode?
But even if not, even if he doesn’t see all the beauty around him, even if he doesn’t see that God loved the world so much as to send His only-begotten Son, even if all his entitled rage is entirely his fault, isn’t this exactly the person that Jesus died to save? Yes.
And that person is us all too often speeding through life so as not to notice God in this way and that, right? But Jesus is very good and very kind.