Tuesday, November 11, 2014

A Fine Start to the Day

Since this November morning is absolutely brilliant, I decided to go for a walk fairly early in the day to get my exercise. As I stepped outside, a man in his late 30's approached me with beads of sweat pouring down from his neatly trimmed head. He had a pleading look of desperation and he seemed to be beating himself up.

He asked me for directions to a place on Morrissey Boulevard, but the numbers did not correspond to anything logical. He took the train from Quincy so that he would exit the JFK/UMass subway stop by 8:30 giving him a full half hour before the start of work at 9:00 a.m. He walked up and down the street in quite a quick pace just looking for his destination. In exasperation, he found me.

I started to give him directions and then said, "Jump in my car." He did not say a word. He just sat down. I drove him to the place called the EMK Institute as he stared at his work permit. I asked, "Would you like me to vouch for you?" He said, "Please. I tried my best to get here early, but this is so confusing. I walked onto the University campus, but I wanted to respect their grounds. I did not want to meet Campus Security" I realized what a different experience I have as a Caucasian male. He felt fear he would have been questioned as an African-American, but I assured him that he would be very welcome on Campus. I learned that his name was Cedric.

I said, "I see you are going to the Ted Kennedy building." He said, "Actually, I'm going to the EMK Institute." I replied, "The Edward M. Kennedy Institute is a fine building and it is due to open very soon. Most of the exterior work is complete and it looks stunning sitting next to the JFK Library and Museum." He said, "Oh, EMK, the Ted Kennedy building."

We found our way to a door where he was to arrive and I vouched for him. He sighed a deep breath and explained his situation. The work supervisor was very understanding and said to the man, "Come on in." Then he turned to me and said, "I did not catch your name." I replied, "Fr. John," and Cedric seemed to lose his breath again.

4 comments:

  1. Indeed a fine start to the day for you, for Cedric and now for all of us!
    Thanks for sharing this story.

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    1. Thanks, Monica. I think Cedric is very happy today. His supervisor was very accepting of the situation.

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  2. Doing The Lord's work John......

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    1. Thanks. Most people would have done it as well.

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