This morning as I stepped up on the bus to begin my morning commute into work, the driver welcomed me aboard and asked how I was doing.
“Good,” I replied.
While taking my seat, I made eye contact with another passenger and she too inquired after my well being. And again I heard myself reply, “Good.”
But as I settled into my seat, a small voice asked “Are you really good?” Both times my response had been automatic. Without much thought I had responded as I had many times before. After all these people were strangers to me, surely they wouldn’t want to hear how I was really feeling.
And whenever I asked that same question of someone, “How you doing?”, do I really stop to wait for their response or do I assume that they too are “good” and move on even before their response has left their lips?
But as the bus pulled into downtown where I work, I saw something that helped me to realize just how “good” I wasn’t.
He lay on the ground covered up in an old, thin blanket. The boots that covered his feet had come from better days and his toes protested as they were greeted by the morning wind. Beneath his head an old duffel bag served as his pillow, and lying beside him laid brown plastic bags that no doubt held his life’s possessions. Oblivious to the traffic and people passing by, he slept on his bed of concrete with the contentment of a well fed baby.
And I realized that there by the grace of God go I. For how easily it could have been me lying there.
It was through no goodness of my own thay my blessings weren’t hidden in plastic bags, but they were too many to count. It was not because I had been so good that goodness had been shown to me. And it wasn’t good that should tell those who ask how I was doing.
On my way into the building where I worked, I was welcomed by a fellow co-worker who greeted me with a warm “Good morning, how are you?”
Without hesistation I replied, “Grateful.”