I am not, and never have been, very good at “doing a room”, and by that I mean interacting with strangers in a social or church gathering. I am much more likely to be found, standing [if you sit you can be pinned down by someone’s Auntie who once knew a priest] in a corner, talking to someone I know. It’s not just shyness and certainly not disinterest. I just feel that by charging round shaking hands and asking names I am in a way interfering in peoples social activity. It’s like the old days when the priest called on his rounds, most were polite but never quite sure why you were there!
Meeting people on a one to one, however, is a totally different experience. We warm to, or are put off by, individuals in those circumstances. When we do warm to them it is surprising just how quickly we share intimacies. Stories of struggles, doubts or fear, sickness and health.
At it’s heart is an interest in humanity, a willingness to see the good in people, a recognition that others have so much to offer to us.
It also has that quality of trust, trust that allows us, in these moments of intimacy, to know that God is with us. A God who, through these exchanges, makes a difference. Those facing banality can find themselves heading back to sanctity.
The Road to Emmaus is one of those moments. The guys tell their stories and hear the warmth of sympathy and understanding. But so much more, the warmth and intimacy changes their lives at that moment, gives them hope, gives them the Easter Jesus.
Walk with us O my God!
Just a thought!