I love taking the train from destination to destination. Almost as much as I like walking. And if my feet don’t hurt from the day before, I like it even better. (Note to self: cutesy flip-flops and the Magnificent Mile don’t play well together.)
This morning I was walking down State Street just drinking it all in.
The hubbub of horns mixed with the clack of stilettos and the rush of the train overhead;
the aromas of coffee and breakfast food and the smell of people;
the bustle of pedestrians and bicyclists on the sidewalks and the miracle of the crosswalk.
They are miracles, you know: both sides of the street are crammed with people waiting for the little white man to give permission to cross. They’re shoulder-to-shoulder. On both sides. And when he lowers his red hand and flashes white, they all mill forward in sync. And it works. No one stops to make room for anyone else, no one slows their pace, there’s very little jostling and never the awkward trying-to-avoid-your-path-but-stepping-right-into-it-again dance. Pedestrians just blur together in the middle of the crosswalk and after a few seconds it’s like the red sea parting and each person bustles on their merry way. It’s a miracle.
And as I waited on that miracle for the seventieth time in 2 days, I heard bells. Faintly at first, but stronger as I strained my ear to hear it. It was as if the city - at least my little corner of the city - was hushed to listen to the faithful church bell ringing out over the orderly clamor. My spirit soared, bore witness to God’s, and my soul sang out with the ringing bell
My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art!
I was touched by the truth that God himself is present here and sees me here smack in the midst of the hustle and bustle of downtown Chicago. So touched that I felt tears coming as I waited there at the crosswalk on State Street. But my heart just sang on instead, for there was the little white man waving me across.