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Grace Happens  

Searching for a living illustration of grace?  I would not normally recommend you climb aboard a Metra passenger train hauling self-absorbed commuters from the suburbs into Chicago.  But my friend, Jack, stumbled upon a refreshing scene on the train.

Jack, who has a knack for colliding with the unusual, was comfortably plopped into his seat aboard train #14 as it chugged eastbound toward a 6:44am arrival in the Windy City.  The car was already full, yet there were still more scheduled stops ahead. 

“So this guy is sitting there reading his Bible,” Jack tells me (Jack notices because Bible readers on the train are scarce, and also because he himself reads the Bible riding the rails).

“About then, the doors open and a lady gets on, but there's just no place for her to sit.”

“So what happened next?” I inquired. 

“Well this guy reading the Bible (who happens to be white) glances up and cranes his neck around.  He can see there are no seats and this poor lady (who happens to be black) is standing in the aisle.  So, he gets up and says to the lady, 'There's a seat right here for you, Ma’am.  Please—sit down,' pointing to his own seat."

“And did she take it?”

“At first she smiled awkwardly and politely refused his offer.  But the man insisted and so she finally sat down—thanking him for the kindness.” 

Nice scene.  Yet hardly earth shattering, I thought. But as usual, Jack had a different spin.

“Just think.  In the city of Chicago—a city bruised and bleeding over racial hurt, a white man gave up his seat to a black woman.  Nice statement.”

But when it comes to statements, it's tough to beat Jack's:

“Ya know, when folks live the Bible instead of just read the Bible---grace happens.”


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Jon GaugerJon Gauger

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