The man who waves

By Jessica Connor

I pass him every day coming home from work. There, on the Columbia bus bench, right across from the high school, he sits and he waves.

Not beauty pageant-style, that prim little majestic motion designed to showcase the curve of an arm or a shoulder. Not the wave of an eager schoolkid, that shy does she see me flutter. Not like a vote-seeking politician, or a lukewarm neighbor.

This older gentleman full-on waves at me. He waves like he sees me, like he s so determined to get my attention, me, that he ll put every ounce of his heart and soul into that wave.

His posture is eager ”he leans forward, one leg tucked a bit under the bench to keep his balance so he can turn his upper body toward the road. His arm is outstretched and he waves with vigor, with passion.

He waves like he cares.

And in that way, he reminds me of Jesus.

I used to not notice him. Driving home, the windows cracked and my sunglasses on, I d be just easing into the groove of a second song or dialing someone on my car s Bluetooth. I d breeze on by, never really paying attention to the people on the street corner, all caught up in my own little world and whatever plans I had for the evening ahead.

But one day, things changed. I saw him. I noticed him. And I realized he d been there all the while, waving vigorously, doing his consistent part to catch my attention.

The next day I passed him and I waved back. You should have seen the grin on his face ”like he d won the lottery! And so I grinned back in return. It was sweet. It felt good. Me and this stranger, having a nice little moment.

It happened the next day. And the next. And now I count on it.

Then one day I was stuck a few cars back and noticed my bus-stop waver going gaga for another driver. He saw me, next, and he was at it again: the big wave, the huge smile.

And it hit me that maybe he s not just some friendly, possibly wacky man on a street corner who waves just because. Perhaps this is his ministry. He waves to let someone know they re seen, they matter. He waves because that s what he s called to do, and it feels good to serve in that way.

God does that, every day. He whispers words of comfort and direction. Sometimes he yells them. Sometimes he s that older man on the street corner, waving and grinning with all his might.

And what about us? Are we like the old me, so caught up in our busy-ness that we drive right on by, not stopping to notice? Or do we open our eyes and our hearts, step outside ourselves and take minute to notice the world around us?

God is in those little moments; this I truly believe. Notice Him waving, and don t forget to wave back.

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