See the long-haired, drug dealing/using skinny man with the bad teeth and flared jeans? That’s the one. With the plate of food covered in pepper. You have his measure and feel confident that your approach to life is superior.
As you share a few of your own struggles, though, he smiles, and kindly says: “The only way out is up.” And you realise that you don’t have a mortgage on faith and goodness.
See the neatly dressed older man who sits alone? The one who keeps to himself but is quick to lend a practical hand and quietly admits to you that he is a [reformed – that is, constantly battling] alcoholic.
Overhearing some of your challenges he too offers comfort: “I’ve learned over the years that whenever you attempt something for God, he looks after it.” And you wonder how you, with so much, have chosen to ignore this gracious truth.
“Now there lived in that city a man poor but wise, and he saved the city by his wisdom. But nobody remembered that poor man.” Ecclesiastes 9:15