Daily Thoughts, October 5, 2005
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New York

I know, realize, and understand this is stating the obvious; New York is too big, complex, and changing for anyone to get a complete handle.  Even if you eliminate the outlying parts of the city, sticking just to Manhattan, it is still too much!  Five thousand miles of roads connect the various parts of the city, thousands of venues which are ever changing, and a cosmopolitan mix of people coming together in a way which works.  People in the main get along, delivery seems to help not hinder, and generations stretch and grow together. 
In this context, referrals are an essential ingredient to survival.  Interested in Japanese food?  There are hundreds to choose from.  How can and should you narrow the choice?  The only reliable answer is to consult friends.  Trying to find a book?  How about a great paper store?  Do you need to get a pen repaired, especially a fountain pen?  Do your feet ache?  Are you overwhelmed and stressed out?  Looking for a place to share a romantic evening?
The list of questions is endless but the answer remains the same.  Consult the testimony of friends, family, and others. 
This process isn’t new.  Even in Jesus day there were those taking note.  One such witness was John.  Others noted “this is the same disciple who was eyewitness to all these things and wrote them down.  And we all know that his eyewitness account is reliable and accurate.” (John 21.24)
We have an opportunity to make and take notes on how compassion and mercy play out in the community we find ourselves in.  There are many alternatives representing that “they” are the answer.  For many, my self included at times, it is difficult to find and hold onto to two values.  While many thirst to have an experience filled with compassion and mercy how much heartache can they take along the journey?
I find New Yorkers willing to share without the need for me to confirm I have “bought” their recommendation.  It’s simply their gift to another in the community; a great model. 

October 4, 2005
October 6, 2005