I am sitting on a bench (yes, that one to the left is the actual bench) down in one of the many neighborhood parks in Center City Philadelphia. A friend of mine had a car accident and needed a ride down into the city for a really important convention, and because he is a friend and it was important that he got down here (and especially since he had the totaled his car on the way out of my house!), I figured it would be good for me to give him a ride.

I am taking the few hours that I have down here to relax a bit, reflect, read and pray…

One thing that is certain when you enter the city is that you will see all different kinds of people. I have passed hundreds of people. Businessmen. Students. Doctors. Nurses. Dog Walkers. Homeless people. Hot Dog stand workers. Married couples out for a walk after work. Handicapped people. Joggers. Elderly…the list goes on.

As I sit here on a nice park hard wooden park bench I wonder. What are their stories? Where have they been? What are they doing? To them, who is Jesus?

How about the guy two benches down from me who keeps yelling at the women walking by? He keeps on calling them “f***ing b****es” and yelling “you better stop disrespecting me!” Most of the women just ignore him. Many of them as they walk by pick up their pace quite a bit. Almost of them probably think he is a lunatic. Most likely they are right. But, what’s his story? Why the anger? What the hatred?

So many people. So many stories. The one thing that I keep reflecting on is that Jesus holds a special place for each of us. He came to give life and hope to man. I don’t know their stories, I don’t know who Jesus is to them. I don’t know if they see what he did when he hung on the cross and rose from the dead is anything more than something they saw in a movie by Mel Gibson.

All these stories and Jesus hold a special place for each one…Even the dude flinging cusses at innocent middle aged women walking their dogs.

God, please allow me to understand people’s stories so I can share Jesus with them…