People in Our Path

This week was crap.  I was just over it by the time Friday rolled around.  Stress and exhaustion and ridiculous issues and bickering and travel…it was just crap. 

So when I crawled into the cab at the airport in San Antonio, I just wanted to get to my hotel, have a drink and some guacamole and go to bed.  I had zero desire to be friendly.

But, I have this thing about talking to cab drivers.  I think that it is easy for people to be so caught up in their own lives and ignore the people driving them around and that bothers me.  The idea that we don’t see other people in our paths is something I just cannot handle.  I mean, I could lose sleep over it.  And, as a result, I have just met the coolest people and heard the best stories in the back seat of yellow cars over the years. {I adore this song about this topic.}

Anyway, because of this little belief of mine, I struck up a conversation with Jesse.  And, as I feel like God does so often, he slapped me with a big ol’ dose of perspective. 

Jesse is from Algeria.  He says most people some knownthat is in Northern Africa. And no, he is not black, he stayed out of the sun, he likes to joke. He has lived in Paris and London and New Jersey and San Antonio.  He put himself through community college recently while driving a cab and got a degree in IT.  

He has had a couple of contract jobs, but recently one ended and he is now having to re-group and is back in the cab in the meantime.  He almost got a job with the government, but they wanted him to give up his Algerian passport.   Which he could not do. 

Because he has a wife and a little boy in Algeria.  He has to be able to travel back to see them.  His little boy is 3 and may have a mild form of Autism. And the prettiest curly, black hair.  Jesse is trying to get approved to sponsor them to come to the United States, but last year he only made $23,000 and it is required that a person make $25,000 to be a sponsor.  He will keep trying.

He lives in a one bedroom apartment, but dreams of being in a small town and having land and goats.  He is well-read and told me about some really interesting natural remedies that he has seen work in his country. Camel’s milk, for one.

After telling me his life story, he said, “What about you? I am so sorry to just be talking about me, but usually people don’t ask.”  I told him I was from Amarillo, and God Bless him, he broke out in Amarillo by Morning, my absolute favorite song. 

I told him we lived in a tiny town and had a few cows and my family owns a farm. I showed him pictures of my kiddos. 

He responded with, “I am so jealous.  That is just what I want.  You are living my dream.”

All week, I have been ungrateful. But you know what? I live in the same country as my husband and kids.  My children are healthy.  We have a little house and some land.  We have good, stable jobs.  We are in a position to help others in various ways, and doing that is important to us both.  We have cows and dogs and sheep and a cute little yellow cat.  

We are living the dream.  And shame on me for pouting about a rough week.  I am vowing now to be more intentional with my gratefulness.  How dare I not be.  Mercy. 

Hey, do me a favor.  Say a little prayer for Jesse and his family.  I probably won’t ever see him again, but I sure hope he get his family to the states and a little place to raise his goats one day. 

And the next time you are in a cab, strike up a conversation with the driver.  You’ll never regret taking the time to really see people in your path. 

6 thoughts on “People in Our Path

  1. Was the camels milk recommended for autism? Interesting… a lot of autistic kids have gut issues and the autism symptoms seem to lessen with some dietary changes – I wonder if there’s some kind of unique enzyme or something in the camels milk. I haven’t made changes to Sonny’s diet -yet. That’s one of those things I find interest but haven’t had time to implement.


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