My wife was skeptical from the first minute since the man was not wearing a mask. I checked the crowd to see who was missing a mask. No one was. Then I decided to ask if this guy had a mask to wear. I sincerely wanted to convey good will as a first impression to the mysterious stranger. He pulled out a mask saying he didn’t want to wear the mask while we were outside, but would when we entered the building.
He talked about how things are so bad now and how people are missing the point. Okay, this anonymous guy seems to want to go on and on, but my wife and I are both observant enough to know that this conversation won’t be comfortable or polite. I’m ready to clam up and ride it out as the line is moving pretty well and he’s stopped making comments.
All of a sudden, he has tuned his phone to a recorded sermon from some preacher but the sermon was not based on the gospel. The preacher was talking about the great accomplishments of President 45. I have nothing against preachers but this was too much and after about 15 minutes, I had heard enough.
We were about to enter the building and I asked “could you turn that off please?”
“Oh this is the best, I need it every day. It’s the word of God!”
I exhaled. “I am a man of the Word also and this is what I read today: Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels and have not love, I am become as sounding brass . . . ” [1 Cor. 13:1 NKJV]. “Sir, the Love of God is stronger than the divisions between us.”
“Yeah, but the liberals are killing babies . . . ”
“Yeah, but Black people are being killed in the streets” I replied.
“Love is the greatest force in the universe; Love conquers all. We need love to stop all the petty squabbles so that we can evangelize the world”
His eyes darted as he opened his mind to possibilities. “We could do a lot more if we stopped pointing fingers at each other” he said.
He was quiet for the remaining time we were in the queue. I never asked his name. I did wonder if he thought his efforts were enough to change my mind. I’m sure he voted his heart, but fervently hope he caught a glimpse of the world from my shoes.