Curious things happen when you pay attention.
You may find yourself standing up and out in defense of a complete stranger.
That happened to me.
I would have to say it was a God-inspired moment.
Why? I guess because I couldn’t stop myself. I felt a blaze of “thou shalt” stream from me that was so powerful it took me by surprise.
It was a day. Was it like any other day? No. I choose not to buy into the mindset that our days are filled with a series mind-numbing repetitious routines. I believe that something new inevitably happens everyday – even if you don’t consciously notice it.
So it was a unique day. I was standing on a subway platform. It was hot. Very, very hot – the kind of hot that you should only feel in a steam room when you are naked and have the option of jumping in a shower of a pool to cool down.
I looked to my right and that’s when I saw her. She was about 5’11”, brown-skinned beauty with a 1/2-inch afro and a womb full of the future.
Now, I have to admit – I do tend to move around NYC subway attempting to be oblivious. I tend to keep my blinders on quite firmly. I usually find it’s the best way for me to maintain my calm mindset/demeanor. I either imagine I am in a beautiful garden, or I dim my visual focus and dedicate myself to my auditory input (care of my Iphone).
But that day wasn’t a blinders kind of day.
I was seeing the world in HD technicolor. I was hearing sounds and seeing sights with a clarity that defied any attempt I made to dim my senses. When the train arrived, I saw a number of seats were available, but hardly enough for all the passengers on the platform to enjoy a set on the the train. On that day, I wasn’t focused on getting a seat for myself. Once the doors open I joined the crowd of people boarding the train, a quiet voice inside me whispered, “Make sure she sits.”
Another little voice whispered, “What about me?”
“Oh please,” the first voice replied.
Of course, moments before the doors closed, there was only one space available for someone to sit and a man was in the process of sitting in it, when suddenly out of my lips come words I have heard from others but not me, “Excuse me. There’s a pregnant woman on standing. Can you give her your seat?”
The man suddenly stopped his descent into the empty seat, looked up at with a surprised expression and answered, “Yes of course.”
I realized at that moment that my tone was pretty strong, and undeniable, so I smiled, “Thank you” and said it a few times. The young brown-skinned mother-to-be had a stunned “Me?” expression when I waved her over. Could it be that not many strangers have interceded on her behalf forced someone to give up their seat for her in the past? Or that she hadn’t wanted or needed a seat, but my strong tone made her feel obliged to accept the gift of a seat on a hot summer’s day on a NYC subway train?
Or maybe she had special pregnancy-induce vision and she could sense the spirit of God within me empowering me to make a difference?
So, as I walked along the crowded streets of my NYC, I wondered how many other people found themselves inspired to step out of their self-focus to be other-focused that day. Did they feel the same, “Wow! That was a holy experience!” feeling that I felt? Is our city actually filled with Angels whispering words of love and generosity?
All I knew was – on a day that was unlike any other day – I was inspired to champion someone else cause. And it felt curiously GOOD.