As we descended the stairs from the sports complex, I explained that my house was only a little farther away. And when we arrived at my house, I asked my new friend, who was clearly a few months away from bringing a little one into the world, whether she’d like a glass of water or to use the facilities. Her look of gratitude was real. I’ve known many friends and family around her stage, and frequent trips to the bathroom are a must. So we went inside.
I don’t know about you, but I have some habits, some ways of doing things in my life. And when I come home, I put my keys on the counter, like I did yesterday. My new friend would be staying over for the night at Harris United Methodist Church before a hearing in the morning in Immigration Court. And it was my role to bring her from the Refugee and Immigration Law Clinic at UH Law School to Harris—a simple enough task. So we made our way to the car, my new friend before me, me dutifully locking the door behind us on our way out, closing it behind me, and reaching for my…keys…which were on the counter where I placed them moments ago.
Have you ever found, that it is often in moments when we are trying to do something good or helpful, something we might even be stretching ourselves to accomplish, when we make mistakes we almost never make otherwise? For some, it’s saying something we wouldn’t normally say to try to reach out, and then falling painfully short. For others, it might be forgetting to invite someone to something completely by accident. And for yet others, it’s locking our car keys inside when our only job in that moment is to use them.
If this is not an affliction of yours, my hat’s off to you. But for many this is the reality of patterns or routines butting up against new ways of acting or being in the world. It’s natural to find old patterns gumming up the works of new ways we want to act. In my case, I unlocked my phone, requested a rideshare to Harris, walked myself to my housemate’s office to get a key, and took a rideshare home. That’s one way to look at it.
But here’s another way: As I crossed Vineyard from Harris, sitting right there in the first car waiting at the red light, was a friend of mine, and I got to say “Hi” to him. Then a block later, another friend was getting off the bus on Bishop Street right as I was passing by, and I got to say “Hi” to him. Then I met up with my housemate to get a key and got to chat a little with him, too.
“There are no mistakes,” some tell us. I don’t know if that’s true. But I will say that when I close a door, and no one can open a window either, the Universe opens a rideshare app. And for the adventure that followed, I will always be grateful.
And may it ever be so.
Rev. T. J.