I take the 7:30 a.m. bus. It holds a small community of people whose lives overlap for a short time each morning. The early rain has fogged all the windows from the inside, so at each stoplight the bus driver clears her window with a paper towel.
The bus brings me one level closer to the city, its diversity sharing the bus route: Anglos in from the neighborhoods, Latinos in midtown, African Americans at east-west exchanges. Dress defines work, hospital and hotel uniforms, practical shoes for standing all day, professionals with ID badges at the belt.
"Stay in the city" is part of Jesus' instructions to his disciples as they enter the anxious interval between his departure and promised empowerment at Pentecost. They feel totally inadequate, but take him at his word. When the Spirit falls on them as wind and fire, they will take up Jesus' mission in the world. No escaping it. Stay in the city. The Word is not vapor or concept, but flesh in us now.
I take my instructions from the daily readings each morning, a conversation with Jesus over coffee. I share this simple spirituality with a growing number of people. I trust that the Word will keep me alert to God's presence in my small corner of the world. I am motivated to stay in the crossroads where Word and world meet. I edit Celebration, a worship resource published by the National Catholic Reporter. This blog will report something from that daily encounter of spirit and flesh, where my inadequacy meets the promise of the Spirit.
Before I leave the bus, I trace my image on the misty window. Good morning, everyone.
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