Walking and riding public transportation allows the observer to really 'see' their surroundings.
If someone is accustomed to taking private transportation to school, work or elsewhere, many details of life can be missed... and I'm sure some would say this is the idea.
Only when walking the paths others walk can one come close to understanding another human being, or at least what they see, hear, smell and experience in their daily commute.
We may come somewhat close, for their home life, their upbringing, their daily internal process is absent from our view.
But in catching a glimpse, perhaps we can come closer to understanding why some people struggle as they do, or are challenged as we may possibly hear them say they are.
Yet only the individual knows their personal story, no matter how close we may get to them.
The observer, or even the meddler, or the one who chooses to look after and serve the less fortunate, can only come so close.
The rape victim alone knows that particular experience.
The verbally, mentally, physically abused only know what it was like to be in a home where constant friction and negativity was the norm; curses in place of encouragement, strife in place of peace.
The victims also know ( or don't ) the lapses in memory due to trauma and their methods in dealing with horrific events, overwhelming memories and emotional and psychological scars.
Just like only the victimizer, rapist, criminal, murderer, wicked only know ( or deny if confronted ) the sense of power or dark thrill they experience in subjecting others to wickedness.
Some forward what they were previously subjected to.
Yet a gleam of hope, when searched for and usually found by happenstance, is possible among the challenging images, sounds, smells and activities of the downtrodden.
So this morning when traveling by public transit through some of the roughest neighborhoods in Los Angeles, reading the screen of an opened laptop computer ( although the intercom warns of hiding electronic devices ) I read a summary, perhaps a lesson, of the Gospel.
It seems someone was preparing a lesson, showing how the Christ moved among the faithful and the faithless, the righteous and the wicked, healing, binding, loosening and loving all those He touched.
Seeing such things remind me to pray, to bless, to love... despite the challenges this man feels when seeing things which may initially affect and offend me... reminding me again what I've been called to do.
I am grateful for being reminded by He who hears and see all things.
Praised be His Holy Name!