So, while we were in Florida, I took yet another step deeper into modern times and let Russ add an Uber app to the arsenal on my phone.
It came with no small amount of stress on my part as I watched him punch in numbers and such and ask me passwords; which, of course I couldn’t remember, so we had to get new passwords.
But finally the deed was accomplished and I now can call a total stranger to come and pick me up, hop in the back seat of what I think is the right vehicle and be taken, hopefully, to my desired destination.
Easy Peasy except for the freaking out over all the “what-if’s” part that go with being me.
And why did I allow this to happen?
Because I needed to get somewhere down in the southland and it was my best option for transportation. Seems one of our younger tribe members has landed in that part of the country and I made a lunch date with this gem….
Which is how I found myself chatting it up with my first Uber driver as he zipped down the highway from our hotel to a lunch date in Disney Springs.
To lighten the awkwardness, I attempted to make small talk, which I am about as good at as trying new and slightly adventurous things and let me tell you…it was not being received well.
After I made a couple of comments about traffic and the weather, the driver played like he was hard of hearing so I gave up.
However after a wee bit of a pause, he began attempting to talk to me in very broken English.
Using one hand to hold the wheel and the other to gesture wildly…not to mention the fact that he felt the need to make eye contact occasionally…another story in itself because did I mention we were in the Disney madhouse traffic??….he explained that he was not so good at my native language.
He was able to tell me that he spoke Spanish and Italian fluently but English not so much and that he could understand it better than he could speak it but only if it was spoken slowly.
He must have thought I was slow because he repeated this last part several times and each time would release his hands from the wheel and make sign language for “slow down” as he turned to make sure I understood.
I never wished I could say “I got it” in Italian as much as I did in those moments.
We did arrive safely and he was totally able to communicate to me how to give him five stars and a tip on the Uber app….
and I said Gracias/Grazie and used the universal hand wave to say good-bye and we parted ways.
But it made me think.
As we journey through the season of Lent and anticipate the celebration of our Risen Savior in early April, we will have opportunities to speak to others outside our faith about why all of this matters to us and why we want it to matter to them.
Sometimes we forget that we, inside the church, speak in a language that is different and foreign to those outside.
Maybe we can use this season to slow down a little and, instead of speaking louder, we could try listening and responding gently.
Perhaps we can ask questions about what others think of what we believe and start some dialogues that open the door to clear up misunderstandings about Jesus and His ministry to us and share in meaningful ways why we now follow Him.
The series being offered at First Christian this Lenten season is helping us to see Jesus through the eyes of the Gospel of Mark. Sermons and study tools are available on the church website at http://www.firstdecatur.org/sermons and by texting FIRSTDECATUR to 245-87.
I hope you will join us.
I said …..