Sitting on a park bench…in Queens

Once upon a time while in NY we all were out walking around checking things out and on the prowl to witness to someone. I approached a lady who was sitting on a park bench. I walked up to her and said something like, “Excuse me ma’am, may I sit down?” She began hollering at me like there was no tomorrow. She was loud and very rude. She was shouting at me telling me to go back home and don’t come around here anymore. To go away and never come back, she kept on saying. It was another in a long list of surreal moments.

I sat down and began talking to her anyway. She was talkative in her NY kind of way. She was old, probably 60. She had lived in Queens most of her life, I think. After awhile I asked her why she was hollering at me when I approached her. She said she thought I had just moved up here or was planning to move up here. I had told her by that time that I was up here on behalf of the church to tell people about Christ and that I would be going back in a week. She was relieved. She began telling me how difficult and, at times, horrible it is to live in NY. She didn’t want me to make that mistake if I had a chance of living anywhere else. She assumed by my accent that I had a choice and if I did that I should not screw up my life by choosing to live there. In reality she was being nice to me. She was being kind. It was an odd style of kindness, but she was and I appreciated it. One of those odd interactions, but amazingly the norm in such a place as NY. The people are lovable, eccentric and always adventurous.

I think on the same day I had met another lady earlier who was hanging out of an apartment window on the first floor. It was hot and she was cooling off. Since they didn’t have air conditioning it was not unusual for folks to be lined up hanging out of their windows talking to folks on the street. I caught the eye of this elderly lady and she seemed engaging. I had never witnessed to a lady hanging out her window while I was walking up the street. However, in NY there are always these types of opportunities. You just have to have an awareness and desire.

We began to talk and I was trying to connect someway, somehow. She said something, I said something back and the conversation took off. At one point I was going to reference a verse from the bible, but couldn’t remember it. I shouted at one of my friends and asked him if he had a Scofield (meaning Scofield Reference Bible). She heard the name Scofield and in light of our conversation about angels she thought Scofield was an angel. So she questioned me about this. She was Catholic, like everybody else, and thought there was another angel out there that she was not aware of. She didn’t want to miss out on something. She did see Mary (Jesus’ mother) in Brooklyn one time.

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