How wonderful it would be if we all believed in magic. If we all believed that there was something else, something greater, bigger, darker, brighter...magical. We could all live our lives believing and striving for that magic, that something, that Someone. Maybe we should all go back to being children when there were monsters, things hiding under the bed, cops and robbers, good versus evil. I've heard people say that children are too simple-minded. Really? Maybe us grown ups are too complicated-minded. Perhaps we have overcomplicated things. Maybe life is as simple as cookies and milk, sleepovers, puppies and the mystery of a great scary story.
Jesus once said that our Father would take care of us more than the sparrows. Think about sparrows for a minute. Do we ever see them worrying? Not that we know what sparrows think, unless you're a bird whisperer or God. Seriously though, think about it. We have over-complicated and cluttered our lives until we don't even recognize it as life. We worry, we fret, we buy and sell, worry about whether this girl or that guy likes us, if our clothing is in style. When was the last time we simply slowed down and looked around us at the magic in our lives? When did we last watch a sunset, wonder at its beauty and be amazed? To watch the heart of stone in people melt; the look in someone's eyes who is set up to be angry or suspicious until...we are needlessly compassionate, when we reach out to touch someone's hand because they are God's child, a fellow human on this journey.
I was in California on Valentine's Day of this year. It was a coolish night and I was walking down a sidewalk in Santa Barbara with my friend Vanessa. We had just come out of a coffee shop, I don't remember the "brand". I like to imagine it was some quaint little shop in Italy where people knew me and I spoke Italian. Anyways, we walked out of the shop arm-in-arm. As we began to walk away from the shop, I heard a voice say, "Hey man, can I get some change?" I looked over my shoulder to see what was clearly a homeless man sitting on a bench. He was dirty, unshaven and honestly looked a little drunk. What did I do? I kept walking, didn't even blink, walked right past the guy like he wasn't even there. I got about fifteen feet away from him when I felt His push on my heart, His voice in my soul, "Go back." I argued with the Voice, "I don't want to. He's probably drunk and he'll use the money to buy more booze or dope." I could almost see the smile on His face, "So? Why do you care? It's not up to you. Go back, I want to show you something." So back I went. As I approached this man, I honestly began to wonder what his name was, where he was from. I suddenly wanted to sit with him, buy him a beer and ask him to tell me his story. I walked up to him, he looked up at me and I could see it in his eyes. Suspicion, hope, rejection, fear, hunger, despair, hope...all of it. It was like slow motion. I watched my hand extend with my fresh cup of great coffee in it toward him. I heard my voice say, "Hey dude, would you like my coffee instead?" I could see it again; suspicion, hope, rejection, fear, despair, hope. Then I saw something else in his eyes...tears. His hand was shaking when he took the cup and I heard him...and Him...say, "Thank you." Then it happened. Magic. And I couldn't stop smiling.
This story, just so you know, is not about me being nice cause I'm usually not. But I learned something that night in Santa Barbara. I learned that the Voice still speaks, that He had something to show me and, had I not gone back, I'd have missed what He had to say, I'd have missed the magic. How wonderful it would be if we all believed in Magic.