Directions 5.21.2015

The Streets of New York…

We were in New York City to see our son, Abram.  Naturally we were taking in some other things the city offered as well.  It was 1:45, just before the 2:00 matinee of the Broadway shows.  A long line stretched in front of Lunt-Fontaine Theater, where “Finding Neverland” was playing, starring Kelsey Grammer (star of the long running show “Frasier”).  The sidewalk was clogged and traffic choked the streets.   We stepped off the curb and made our way past through the crowd, weaving through stalled cars.

Striding with a purpose from the opposite direction was a man with a familiar face.  I struggled to place him, when the recognition light went on:  It was Kelsey Grammer, hurrying to make his show!  He walked right past Sarah, Abram, and Gina, and then brushed past me.

I exclaimed, “That was Kelsey Grammer!”  My children of another generation said, “Who?”  Another man, my age, said, “I know!  Can you believe it was him?”

I turned to watch Mr. Grammer weave his way through the crowd, cutting through the line, and entering a theater door.  No one asked for his autograph or shook his hand or even noticed him.  Some of the people in the line seemed perturbed that a stranger was cutting through the line.

That struck me as strange.  Here were people paying a lot of money to see a play with a big name star.  When the star wasn’t on stage, but right up next to them, they didn’t recognize him.

Let me tell you about two other encounters on the trip.  We were walking down 6th Avenue in search of a place to eat lunch, when I heard a voice call out, “Hey Clay!”  It was Jonathan Zimpleman, one of our deacons.  He was waiting for a cab to take him to the airport.  Of all the people on the street, imagine running into someone from ADBC.

The next day we were walking on 46th street when a cab stopped in the middle of the street, the windows rolled down, and Imogene and Don Mathis hollered out, “It’s the Smiths!”  The Mathis’

are long-time members of ADBC.  What are the odds of running into two Sumter folks who are part of the ADBC family?

I’ve thought about those three encounters.  People missed the star of the show because he wasn’t on stage, but was right there in their midst.  Twice I stopped my journey because someone called my name.

If you think Jesus needs to perform a miracle for you before you follow him, you probably won’t recognize the reality that he is already in the crowd around you.  If you listen, you will hear him call your name, and you will know that in the midst of journeys and tasks, he knows you.  That’s why Jesus is not a star to perform for us; he is a Savior who loves us and knows us and calls out our name.




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