I was so ready to head home after choir last Wednesday. It had been one of those run-around days–both with children and with church. The music of choir a much needed re-centering, and as we packed up to go home, Joseph walked into the sanctuary.
Well, not really Joseph. Actually, the young man who walked in, head hung low, shoulders slumped looked eerily familiar to me.
“Where’s the pastor?” He grumbled.
“I am.” I replied…thinking both I know this kid and you’ve got to be kidding me…I’m exhausted. I need to get home…(I won’t bore you all with the litany of my inner dialogue.)…”I think I know you.”
He looked…”Yeah I think I know you too.”
“Did you ever go to a retreat at the seminary?” I ask.
“Uh-huh. Are you Megan?”
“You’re the pastor here?”
I nod again remembering this boy from a retreat several years ago. “Tyler?”
“Oh that’s right Dakota.”
And then out spills the tale of his recent job loss, pregnant girlfriend, struggle getting a motel room because they don’t allow 20 year olds to get rooms. And I listen. And as I listen I realize the only reason I’m still listening is that I know this kid. I remember him. I remember his back story. And my traditional cynic is quieted by history.
Driving home I thought about how easily I could have turned them away. How cynical I’ve become, how jaded. How likely I’d be to turn Mary and Joseph away if I didn’t know them.