I don’t travel alone much, and when I do, I feel the whole process interiorly – from the planning of itinerary; to the packing, the transit and the journey.
I was reminded of one particular stay in Sydney two years ago when I was there for a conference. It was night, and many of the participants had either travelled in groups or were familiar with the locality. To add fun to the story, it was wet and quite cold that winter night, but because I was a Melbournian going to Sydney, I had decided on principle (and in stubbornness) that I wouldn’t need an umbrella with me. (Melbourne winters are not for suckers.) We had to organise our own meal and I was getting hungry and tired from the commute, and I was without the securities of shelter, familiarity and knowledge.
I mustered courage and ventured out nevertheless, with a borrowed umbrella, and walked around the precinct awhile. Businesses were closing and people were going about their regular routine, leaving work, etc. It was not a tourist district, so everyone looked as though they knew where they were going. I did my best to imitate them, and found a haven of authentic #Japanese fare open, as if just for me. The interior was cosy and intimately lit (dark!), and I was the only customer at the time, yet there was something warm about it (apart from the steaming hot #miso). The service staff spoke little English but we managed with smiles. どうもありがとう 🙇
This was not the #Sydney I had known before, it was something else altogether, and in part, I think it was because I let myself be vulnerable yet reliant on whatever strengths I had in me.
When was the last time you lived with openness of spirit? Are you being called to openness? How can you be a welcome for someone today?
Prayer for Openness
God of Love,
Your birth knew no welcome on a barnyard floor
Your childhood estranged from the land of your home.
As an adult you lived among outsiders and lepers,
the lost and the forgotten, on the edges of sociability.
Rejected and renounced, to be abandoned by your kin
You were left to die alone, save for a few.
Even in rising, you were found unrecognised
yet remained ever faithful to the truth that is Love.
God of Love,
In knowing this, and in all you’ve given me,
Make me a haven of welcome and warmth,
that I too, may be open, to your coming again.