There are some people who cannot find a place. And here I was, thinking the world is one big house.
If you want to find people, go to coffee shops. There are plenty of people there. There are men in the middle of their life, collecting research for books they will never finish. There are high school girls who gossip about their stupid friends. There are grandmas meeting their first grandchild. There are dates where the girl does not stop talking and the guy cannot stay awake.
Some people go to coffee shops to be found. They want to be known, but they want it to happen organically. So they nestle in the corner with a book, hoping a stranger will ask them a question.
I don’t know, but I suspect she was one of these nomad souls. And she would have been one of those once-in-a-lifetime persons who infests the corners of my mind. But I met her again and now she is not a person I happened to meet. She is a friend.
Her name is Natalie. I was reading the Iliad at the local coffee shop and she said that Homer is not light reading. I said yeah.
Soon after that, we began talking about Marxism and how a revolution ought to be started – her leading it of course.
Another person joined and, three hours later, our conversation was over and I walked home in the cold. I thought about it. And I thought about where she might go.
A year later, I happen to go to Target. I go to a section of the store I know doesn’t have what I’m looking for. And then I hear this voice say, “Caleb!”
And I turn around and there is this person with a big hood, a large scarf, and a bulky coat. It was Natalie. And we talked like we were old friends.
I don’t know if there is such a thing as strangers. We are all either looking for each other or looking to be found. We’re distant relatives. And this perspective does not lead us towards holding hands and singing about peace.
You feeling that you are part of the family of man will not change the world. But, it will change you and might change whoever you extend yourself to. If any person you meet is strange, perhaps you have estranged yourself.
You are not the only person with beauty, truth, honesty, perspective, laughs, curiosity, deceit, conceit, and sadness. Every person you see has felt the same things as you and, maybe less so, thought the same things. We are made out of the same stuff, the same image. And no matter what, there are two things that you will always have in common.
One, you are going somewhere after death. Two, you came from the same place.
If you see someone who cannot find a place – who is looking to be found – show them where to rest. If you cannot show them where to rest, then listen to them. Let them have eyes to look into and words to think about. Remind these nomad souls that we are all living in one big house.
Look for the restless.