I was sharing at this week’s Reconciliation evening about a link to the Gospel that struck me by surprise in the traffic. Getting out of Blacktown the other night I wanted to get back to Emu Plains and prepare a reflection in time for the Reconciliation liturgy. An accident ahead led to a complete traffic logjam and cars doing u-turns were discovering that the other surrounding roads were choked too. Emergency service vehicles set up no-go zones in a flash and an ambulance rushed by on the wrong side of the road to respond. No-one was going anywhere.
Okay I admit ..
Whilst sincerely feeling a concern for anyone injured and wondering if they’d be okay, I admit to being a little anxious about the delay – until, that is, I gave myself a reality check that my delay was nothing compared to whatever was going on for whoever that ambulance was helping.
And then it struck me
So, with this happening, I was sitting stopped still in the traffic thinking about one of the readings to be used a little later at the Reconciliation. It was the story of the one lost sheep and the ninety nine others. Jesus spoke of the extraordinary value of the ‘one’ – of the shepherd’s priority to care about the one, rather than cut the loss and say ‘no problem, let it go, I’ve got a whole ninety nine more’. And it hit me that right here in the traffic was something of that image going on; that regardless of a thousand other cars, all with stories and needs, and many of which were no doubt important, that ONE in the accident was the treasured priority. All else would wait, no matter how important, until that one received the best response and care.
Best treasures aren't all logical
Isn’t it true that sometimes it’s the less ordered, or less logical, or less planned things that occur, that remind us of life’s treasures? So much we do needs to be practical and measured – tasks need to be done – purchases need to be worth the money – practical jobs need to be done in time frames – profit needs to cover wages – budgets need to balance etc etc.
But many of the deepest treasures are the things beyond logic and beyond order; love that sacrifices for another – vulnerability that risks you appearing foolish – mercy that chooses beyond an eye for an eye – valuing of the small and ‘weak’ as much as the richest and strongest.
May God’s illogical and passionate priority for each ONE of us, whatever our circumstance or story, prepare us to receive new life this Christmas. Happy final days of Advent.
With friendship in God’s mission,
Originally featured in paulfromifm.org.au in December 2019